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University of Florida Researcher Finds New Ways to Determine Whether a Patient Will Suffer from Chronic Pain

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Doctors can use a new tool to predict whether a patient will have chronic pain. Photo: Flickr Creative Commons

Doctors can use a new tool to predict whether a patient will have chronic pain. Photo: Flickr Creative Commons

A University of Florida researcher and his team have developed a new tool to help doctors predict whether their patients are at risk of chronic pain. UF’s Jason Beneciuk says the screening tool asks a simple question about the patient’s overall health, including their mental health and other symptoms they might be experiencing.

“Physical therapy is a non-pharmacological treatment approach it’s associated with a very low degree of risk and harm, some of the other interventions out there, opioids in particular are associated with a higher level of risk.”

Beneciuk says his team found more than a quarter of patients who had poorer overall health, including depression and anxiety, experienced persistent pain and would benefit from more long-term management instead of opioids. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says sales of opioids have quadrupled in the United States, with some states writing prescriptions at a rate three times that of others.

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Danielle Prieur

About Danielle Prieur

Reporter & Fill-in Host

Danielle Prieur is a general assignment reporter at WMFE. You can hear her reporting on a daily basis on the station. She also fills-in as a host during the morning and afternoon drive times. Her reporting has been featured on NPR, Marketplace, Here & Now, and Vox. Danielle is originally from Rochester Hills, ... Read Full Bio »