Information for Professionals

Pain Management Pocket Tool

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National and State Pain Management Reports and Information

Trends and Geographic Patterns in Drug and Synthetic Opioid Overdose Deaths - 2013-2019 (CDC MMWR, 2021)
US Senate Energy & Commerce Letter (Patient and Provider Pain-Related Organizations, 2020)
AMA Letter to CDC re: Planned CDC Opioid Guidelines Update (American Medical Association, 2020)
Pain Management Best Practices (U.S. Health & Human Services Inter-Agency Task Force, 2019)
FDA Opioid Tapering Safety Announcement (U.S. Food & Drug Administration, 2019)
Prevalence of Chronic Pain and High Impact Chronic Pain Among Adults - 2016 (CDC MMWR, 2018)
The Ethical Responsibility to Manage Pain and the Suffering It Causes (American Nurses Association, 2018)
Guidelines for the Chronic Use of Opioid Analgesics (Federation of State Medical Boards, 2017)
National Pain Strategy (U.S. Health & Human Services, 2016)
Mass. Governor's Opioid Working Group Recommendations (MA Opioid Working Group, 2015)
Relieving Pain in America: A Blueprint for Transforming Prevention, Care, Education, and Research (Institute of Medicine, 2011)

Boards of Registration in Massachusetts - Policy Statements and Advisories

Board of Registration in Medicine - Best Practices in Opioid Prescribing Advisory (2019)
Board of Registration in Medicine - Prescribing Practices Policy and Guidelines (2015)
Board of Registration in Pharmacy - Policy on Pain Management (amended 2011)
Board of Registration in Nursing - Management of Pain (amended 2017)
Board of Registration in Dentistry - Pain Management Advisory (amended 2011)
Board of Registration of Physicians Assistants - Policy on the Management of Pain (amended 2017)

MassPI worked closely with the Massachusetts Division of Health Professions Licensure to bring these Policy Rulings to fruition in 2009. and have subsequently been amended one or more times since then. Click on the above rulings which affect thousands of healthcare professional licensees across the state. The Massachusetts Division of Health Professions Licensure has taken the unprecedented milestone step of adopting all Board policies to focus attention on the hidden epidemic of pain which adversely affects thousands of Massachusetts citizens and has serious physiological, psychological, social and economic consequences.

Massachusetts Online Prescription Monitoring Program

The Massachusetts Online Prescription Monitoring Program (MA Online PMP) is a secure website that supports safe prescribing and dispensing. A licensed prescriber or pharmacist may obtain authorization, through completion and submission of an enrollment form, to view the prescription history of a patient for the past year. The MA Online PMP also assists state and federal investigative agencies in addressing prescription drug diversion by supporting ongoing, specific controlled substances-related investigations.

Beginning January 1, 2013, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health Drug Control Program (DCP) is automatically enrolling physicians, dentists and podiatrists as participants in the Massachusetts Online Prescription Monitoring Program (MA Online PMP) upon obtaining a new Massachusetts Controlled Substance Registration (MCSR) or upon having their MCSR recalled.

To learn more about the PMP, to enroll, and to find information on addressing unexpected results from the PMP with patients, click here.

Pain Management Pocket Tools

MassPI Education Council, along with national pain experts, have developed a Pain Management Pocket Tool for healthcare professionals. The PDF is availale for downloading and duplicating at no cost. Please follow the link at the top of this page to receive yours.

Tools for Screening for and Assessing Pain

Many published reliable and valid tools, including rating scales, diaries and comprehensive pain assessment tools exist. A variety of different tools may be used to identify and assess pain and/or behavior changes in individuals who are cognitively intact, people who are cognitively impaired, those who are acutely ill in intensive care and other health care settings. Guidelines for improving pain assessment and management recommend that organizations select specific tools that are age and developmentally appropriate for the populations served. These tools should be used by all providers in the organization to screen for pain routinely and assess pain when pain is reported or suspected. The Pain Resource Center at the City of Hope Medical Center provides copies of many tools as well as information regarding selecting an appropriate tool.

Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) for Pain Management

Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is frequently used by persons with pain as they try to find effective relief. Although research results are mixed, some treatment modalities may beeffective for people with pain. While many of these therapies are still not well understood, there is a growing body of literature about specific CAM modalities, which include the broad definitions below. Many of the specific treatment modalities fit under multiple CAM as defined below, depending on how the person with pain is using them.

  • Complementary medicine is used in addition to conventional medicine

  • Alternative medicineis used in place of conventional medicine

  • Integrative (or integrated) medicine combines both conventional and CAM treatments.

The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) was established by Congress in late 1998. It is the Government's lead agency for scientific research on CAM and is 1 of 27 centers that make up the National Institute of Health (NIH) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). NCCAM has information on research results and clinical practice guidelines, based on the best evidence-based medicine currently available.

Additional information about CAM therapy modalities and what is now known about their effectiveness in treating pain can be found at the NCCAM web health care provider site at Information includes clinical practice guidelines for many medical specialties, free continuing education CME/CEU video lectures, other CAM-related resources for health care providers, as well as resources you can recommend for your patients. Additional information on chronic pain and CAM can be found at or call toll-free 1-888-644-6226 for more information.

Other Resources

Ethics and Pain