The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), the Department of Defense (DOD), and the Veterans Administration (VA) released a press statement on September 20, 2017, describing a six-year, $81 million project to focus on developing, implementing, and testing chronic pain management related conditions using ‘non-drug’ approaches. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) will be the lead agency in this partnership. Approaches to be studies include, but are not limited to: Mindfulness, meditation, movement interventions such as structured yoga, tai chi, manual therapies such as spinal manipulation, massage and acupuncture, psychological and behavioral interventions (cognitive behavioral therapies) involving more than one integrated care model per treatment plan.
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), a part of NIH, is contributing more than half of the total funding and is the lead for this multi-agency initiative. The focus is to ‘advance better practices for pain management’ to combat the opioid crisis.
This is encouraging news for integrative healthcare providers who have been using some or all of these care plans in their practice. Providers with military patients may want to inform them of this multi-agency study, as well as follow its outcome.