Pain circle

HHS Requests Comments on Pain Management Task Force Draft Report

The Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force, a group instructed by the US government to determine gaps in best practices for pain management and to propose updates to those practices, has released a new draft report detailing its findings and suggestions. Psychological scientists and others are invited to provide their feedback on this draft report by April 1, 2019.

The draft report, which can be viewed by clicking here, calls for a balanced approach to pain management which should be based on a biopsychosocial model of care. It emphasizes the importance of an integrative approach to chronic pain, and specifically calls for additional research to develop a better understanding of the mechanisms of pain and related topics. It makes a set of eight recommendations which connect to existing guidelines related to pain.

Scientists interested in contributing to the draft report should click here for further information. Comments should be submitted via the Federal eRulemaking Portal and emailed to

Click here to read the Pain Management Task Force Draft Report and learn how to submit a comment.

To view a roundup of psychological science research on the topic of pain management, click here.


I writing to urge you to also consider the position of chronic pain patients I this “war on opioids.” Less than 1% of those with legitimate prescriptions become addicted to opioids. Those addicts who started with a prescription, started with somebody else’s prescription. I was prescribed oxycodone 15 years ago when I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia . Looking back, the Dr also recommended massages and warm water therapy. Neither was covered by insurance. I was working full time as a teacher, and had a young child at the time. Affording alternative therapies and finding the time for them would’ve been difficult. Our culture isn’t set up so that working parents can readily take time for themselves. For the next 12 years I continued to use opioid pain medication, continued to work and be an involved parent. I enjoyed my life. In 2015, my healthcare provider informed me that my prescription of opioid pain medications would be cut by 2/3 immediately. There was no taper plan and I was not offered any medication to address withdrawal. That was irresponsible, and I felt as though I was being punished for having pain. For the next two years I did everything Kaiser asked of me. Kaiser told me that physical therapy, pain management classes and meditation would relieve my pain and I believed them. But my pain was not relieved. I spent the entirety of each day trying to manage my pain, or being in pain. I couldn’t work, seldom left the house and my relationships disintegrated. The medications prescribed to replace the opioids left me so sedated that I had to give up driving. I asked about surgery and was told that I did not yet have permanent nerve damage so I could not have surgery. After two years of this I ventured outside of Kaiser and found another pain clinic. They reinstated my opioid medication, gave me my life back. I could work again and started to rebuild my damaged relationships. When kaiser realized that I had gotten my pain medications back, they suddenly decided I should have the surgery theybhad not been willing to preform! I am happy to report that the surgery was a success and I have been able to easily taper my opioid prescription down . In the 15 years that I took the opioids, I had no euphoria, they simply took my pain away. I never took more than prescribed, never tried to fill early. I had a life. At the end I was made to feel like I was an addict. The doctors didn’t care how bad my back was or how much pain I was in, or how much of my life had been lost; they cared only that I was using oxycodone. Not everyone, or even most people, who use opioids, become addicted. I didn’t. Responsible use of opioid pain medication allowed me to keep my life.

Rosemaries situation sounds like mine. Except I have endured enough surgeries which worked for awhile then the nerves in my back decided to hold a convention.
Over the last three months my pain management doctor has been reducing my opiate meds with no ounseling on how to Iive life with acute chronic pain. I usually an be found in bed to reduce the pain. I’m 68 and want my life back. My doctor isrunning in fee of government reaction

Thanks for sharing your experience about hhs requests. I think everyone should know that info.

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