PainLink Resources
Reviews of Websites

American Society of Law, Medicine, and Ethics

Directed at professionals worldwide who are at the "intersection of law, health care, policy, and ethics," this interdisciplinary society provides information and access to organizations pertaining to such issues as pain management, healthcare quality and access, managed care, ethics committees, assisted dying, genetics, malpractice, long-term care, palliative care, reproductive health, and public health. For ease of use the site is divided into the following sections: home page, journals, conferences, newsletters, projects, membership information, and links to other websites. At the time of this review (8/12/97), pain management information appeared in the conference, newsletter, and projects sections.

This site could be useful to PainLinkers interested in:

  • The effect of laws and regulations on pain management
  • Ethical issues surrounding/concerning pain management
Address
765 Commonwealth Ave.
16th floor
Boston, MA 02215
Phone: (617) 262-4990
Fax: (617) 437-7596

(E.J.)


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International Association for the Study of Pain

The International Association for the Study of Pain is an international, multidisciplinary, nonprofit professional association dedicated to furthering research on pain and improving the care of patients with pain. Membership is open to health professionals actively engaged in pain research and to those who have special interest in the diagnosis and treatment of pain. Currently IASP has 6,300 individual members from 86 countries.

The purposes of this site are to provide services and resources to IASP members, introduce healthcare professionals and scientists to IASP, provide a vehicle for the educational outreach of IASP, and call attention to the importance of pain as a field for multidisciplinary scientific inquiry and to pain prevention/relief as a priority for healthcare delivery.

While the home page presents a grid of options to access the major categories of the site, I found it most useful to access the table of contents option first; doing so enables you to see the type of contents of each category, as well as which pages are still under construction. From the table of contents all major categories and their contents are also directly accessible. Major categories available through the home page grid are (titles in bold are page headers, those in italics are subheaders) News Alert, Publications, Meetings, Programs/Awards, Continuing Education, Public Information, About IASP, Working Groups, Chapters, Resources, and Table of Contents. The News Alert page contains an Important Dates page and a What's New page. At the time of this review, (7/15/98), the latter announced two new publications, including a brief description summary and ordering information. Publications available from the Publications page include: Books, Journal, Pain Definitions, Ethics, and Curricula (for a variety of health fields). Visitors to the site can download IASP's ethical guidelines for pain management research, definitions of pain-related terms and other IASP resources. The Continuing Education page enables viewers to look at information on Meetings, Publications, Positions Available, Training Opportunities, and Membership Information. The Public Information page provides a list, arranged by country, of professional organizations with an interest in pain, patient outreach groups, and other organizations that provide information on pain and related topics to the general public. The Resources page is divided into two sections, an Official Resources page and an Unofficial Resources (Useful Links) page. Official Resources include WHO, IASP Chapter, and Pain History Archives links. Unofficial Resources are links that emphasize international concerns with health and provide clinical, scientific, and scholarly resources related to pain.

Potentially useful for PainLinkers interested in:

*Research on pain mechanisms and pain syndromes
*Management of acute and chronic pain
*Professional education and training in the field of pain
*Information for the general public
*Policies regarding pain management at the international, national, and regional levels

For those who may not have Internet access and would like further information, you may contact the IASP Headquarters Office:

IASP Secretariat
909 NE 43rd St., Suite 306
Seattle, WA 98105-6020 USA
Phone: 206-547-6409
Fax: 206-547-1703
E-mail: IASP@locke.hs.washington.edu


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Mayday Pain Resource Center at the City of Hope

Mayday Pain Resource Center at the City of Hope is a clearinghouse for pain information at City of Hope National Medical Center, led by Betty Ferrell, PhD, RN, FAAN. Based on my review of topics (as of 8/14/97), MPRC materials will be important to members of both clinical and non-clinical disciplines, dealing with pain that occurs in different illnesses, in different patient groups, and in different care settings, as well as different approaches to address pain management. Some of the materials available on this website include pain assessment tools, patient education materials, quality assurance materials, and pain research instruments. Resources have been compiled by professionals at the City of Hope, as well as external sources.

Topics useful for PainLinkers:

  • Improving the quality of pain management
  • Assessment and treatment of pain
  • Patient education
  • Professional education
  • Research
Address
1500 East Duarte Road
Duarte, CA 91010
Phone: (626) 359-8111 X3829
FAX: (626) 301-8941

(E.J.)


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Mayday Upper Peninsula Pain Project

The Mayday Upper Peninsula Pain website" is designed to be easily accessible and useful to medical professionals and patients alike." It is "dedicated to providing insight into all types of pain, from pediatric to senior specific to the part depression plays in pain management."

If you are new to the Internet you may want to click on the box called "Using This Web Site" on the site's homepage (the first screen that appears) as a starting point. Otherwise, by selecting a subject under the "Internet Resources" box of the homepage you will be linked to other international websites on a variety of conditions, namely arthritis, cancer, and headaches, in addition to general pain and general medical resources. These are grouped into the topics of general health, hospitals and therapy, pain and rehabilitation, pediatric, and senior. The types of information accessible through these linked sites include professional organizations, patient and family associations, pharmaceutical companies, government agencies, and consumer information services.

At the time of this review (11/24/97), there were also News, Traditional Resources, and Regional Health Resources options available on the homepage. Regional information pertains to the communities of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, namely, the area geographically adjacent to Wisconsin and Minnesota. This may be useful for PainLink sites that are thinking of offering regional outreach in local communities to learn from. Traditional Resources contains links to various National Directory of Magazines' sites and Standard Periodical Directory sites divided by the topics dental, health, hospitals and nursing homes, medicine, nursing and senior citizens, as well as a more general reference source. The News category is currently broken into three areas: Online General Health News Services, Online News Articles, and Mayday Upper Peninsula Pain Project News.

Potentially useful for PainLinkers interested in:

  • Professional information and resources
  • Consumer (patient and family) information and resources
  • Pain treatment and management
  • Research

(E.J.)


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Medical College of Wisconsin Palliative Medicine Program

The Medical College of Wisconsin Palliative Medicine Program (MCWPMP) is "an educational program that provides access to information about end-of life issues, pain management, and improving care for the dying." Aimed at medical education facilities and members of the healthcare profession, the Palliative Medicine Program is "committed to improving care for the dying in America through the development, implementation, and dissemination of innovative education and clinical care programs."

This site is divided into The Palliative Medicine Program's Mission Statement, Programs, Resources, Seminars, Conferences, References, Faculty, and Links. The Program pages describe ongoing educational projects at MCWPMP, lists education resource materials, and introduces the "CARES" Model for Institutionalizing Improved Pain Management Practices. The Resources section presents Guidelines for Analgesic Drug Orders taken from the AHCPR (Agency for Health Care Policy and Research) Standards for Acute and Cancer Pain Management, and cites sources. Information on current and recent conferences and seminars sponsored by the MCWPMP is offered in the Conferences and Seminars pages, respectively. The Faculty pages provide brief narrative descriptions of the Palliative Care Program's staff members. References are organized into pain assessment and management, pain education, and palliative care (clinical and education) categories. Links include national and international organizations and projects devoted to the topics of pain, cancer, and palliative care/hospice.

Potentially useful for Painlinkers interested in:

  • Education of Healthcare professionals in palliative care Issues
  • Research on pain and palliative care

(E.J.)


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National Chronic Pain Outreach Association

The National Chronic Pain Outreach Association is an organization that serves as a "clearinghouse of information on any kind of chronic pain." In addition to the newsletter it publishes quarterly, the NCPOA can also provide information about support groups and how to start one, and has "reprints of materials on all aspects of chronic pain." It also offers book reviews on the latest publications about chronic pain and lobbies the government and medical community on chronic pain issues and legislation.

By opening the "Functional Neurosurgery Homepage," you will be linked to other website resources focused on causes of pain, treatments for different types of pain, and pain in children. It also provides information about and access to various discussion groups and newsgroups. At the time of this review (9/8/97), the NCPOA site was connected to sites related to headaches, back pain, cancer, arthritis, reflex sympathetic dystrophy, fibrositis, fibromyalgia, and trigeminal neuralgia.

Potentially useful for PainLinkers interested in:

  • Chronic pain treatments
  • Current chronic pain issues
  • Causes of chronic pain
  • Chronic pain support groups and contacts
  • Educational materials for patient public education

(E.J.)


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Pain.com

The Pain.com website is packed with information that is presented in a variety of ways. There are basically 3 routes to navigating the site: the Home Page, the Professional Information button, and the Consumer Information button. From the Home Page itself just under the website's name are two rows of buttons, organized as two "file folders" that list the website's two major categoriesof information—Professional and Consumer. In addition to these "folders", visitors can click on the Site Map, Home Page, Guest Book or Survey buttons. The subcategories of sites vary slightly depending on whether the Professional Information 'file' or the Consumer Information "file" is highlighted.

The Home Page appears to be updated every business day, highlighting news of interest to visitors. Frequent visitors to pain.com will want to check out this page. If you are visiting pain.com for the first time, you will want to click on either Professional or Consumer Information, depending on your interests. To get an overview of the content behind each button, click on the Site Map tab on the Home Page. This leads you to a list of button topics. To learn what the focus of each area is you then click on a topic to find a description of it.

When you select the Professional Information category the following options appear: Site Map, Home Page, Professional Information, Consumer Information, Guest Book, Take Our Survey, Book Store, CME/CE Programs, On-line CME, Communication Resources, Pain Expo, Pain Library, Pain News, Pain Resources, as well as Forums & Chatrooms. Pain Expo is a "virtual product fair" and includes a variety of pain-related resources. Selections which may be of particular interest to health care professionals are Pain Resources (described as the most comprehensive list and links to pain sites and organizations on the web), and the Pain Library (a virtual library of 2500 articles, including text). These buttons appear in the same place in other pages as well, as long as the Professional Information tab is a darker color than the Consumer Information tab.

When the Consumer Information tab is highlighted (darker), the categories offered on these are similar to those in the Professional Information "folder". You will find that the CME button for professional visitors is replaced by such features as : Ask the Pain Doctor, Ask The Expert, Pain Clinics, and Straight From The Top (a weekly column written by a chronic pain sufferer). A resource that seems only to be available through the Consumer Information page are pain assessment forms, which consumers are encouraged to complete before visiting health care providers to improve patient-provider communication.

There is so much information on this site; we did not investigate every possible click. It is probably best to think of it as a "smorgasbord"—various categories of information will appeal to different users. Health professionals will want to be familiar with pain.com in order to understand the information available to patients and to help patients evaluate the information in relation to their own conditions.

The site (as of March 25, 199) is underwritten by educational grants from Abbott, Allergan, Astra, and Medtronic. The site subscribes to the HONcode principles of the Health on the Net Foundation.

Potentially useful for PainLinkers interested in:

  • Professional education and training in the field of pain
  • On-Line CME
  • Patient and public education regarding pain management
  • Pain articles and news
  • Pain conferences
  • Pain Assessment (including Brief Pain Inventory and Initial Pain Assessment Tool)
  • Access to pain-related Forum, Chatroom, (web) Resources, and Bookstore

(E.J.)


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Pain Net

Pain Net, Inc. was developed by physicians, educators, and business professionals, to provide educational and support services to physicians, and other health care professionals throughout the nation. The goal at Pain Net, Inc. is to educate the providers to access . state of the art, diagnostic, therapeutic and medical options to make them available to patients who are in need. Pain Net, Inc.'s services in the arena of pain medicine / management, and functional restoration include: Credentialing by Procedure, Educational Programs, Managed Care, Patient & Physician Advocacy, Practice Development, and Quality Assurance.

From the top of the home page one may click on any of the following topics to view more detailed information: Table of Contents, Public Information, Doctors Only, Educational Events & Meetings, Computer & Outcomes Monitoring, Newsletter, Bookstore, Corporate Sponsors, Questions or Comments, or Affiliates. Accessing the Table of Contents enables you to see the type of contents of each major category available, but not all sub-categories. I therefore encourage users to look at the table of contents initially for an overview, to then go to sub-categories of interest and lastly, to look at categories of interest directly, regardless of the limited sub-categories presented in the Table of Contents. The Public Information section contains information about pain, practitioners and sources of additional information. Users can access the Doctors Only pages which provide informational links, enables registration of practices with the Public Information Directory, and may post job vacancy listings. Educational Events & Meetings, in addition to announcing conferences and unrestricted educational grant sponsors, also offers accredited CME courses on the internet available directly from this page. Courses listed at the time of this review (2/2/99) were for Migraine Headache and Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy. The Computer & Outcomes Monitoring page is devoted to a description of "MasterPiece Medical", a disease/outcome management software package linked to this page. The Newsletter page enables reviewing of issues from April 1994 to December 1998 covering current issues in pain medicine/management, notification of meetings and examinations, corporate organizational reports, and continuing medical education. Educational materials for healthcare professionals and the public, in paper, video, computer, and internet formats may be found in the Bookstore pages. The Corporate Sponsors page may be worth a visit as the corporate sponsors listed there have committed funds for Unrestricted Educational Grants to support Continuing Medical Education; a portion of which is to be donated to nonprofit organizations that benefit patients or assist health care providers who serve those suffering from painful diseases. As the sponsors websites are linked to this page, they may be contacted directly for further information.

Potentially useful for PainLinkers interested in:

  • Professional education and training in the field of pain
  • On-line CME
  • Pain related information for the general public
  • Pain management practice issues
  • Policies regarding pain management
  • Pain conference and grant opportunities
  • Pain management and patient education

For those who may not have internet access, and would like further information, you may contact Pain Net, Inc. by fax: (614) 481-5964, or e-mail: info@painnet.com

(E.J.)


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World Health Organization's Cancer Pain Release

The World Health Organization's Cancer Pain Release is "designed to support efforts nationally and internationally to alleviate needless suffering from cancer pain. Its purpose is to promote the goals of the World Health Organization's Cancer Pain and Palliative Care Program: to change attitudes toward cancer pain, to dispel fears about medications, to make analgesics available, to encourage the proper use of drugs, and to increase awareness that pain can be managed and treated."

The site's homepage allows you to access an index of recent issues of Cancer Pain Release. Articles published in Cancer Pain Release cover such topics as national and regional analyses of different aspects of cancer pain and care, including such issues as care delivery, barriers, resources, education, government policy, pain control, and pharmacology. Newer issues also contain a calendar of upcoming events. To review article titles in a particular issue, click once on the listing of the issue, volume, and edition you are interested in. From Volume 9, No. 2 on, you can view the full text of articles online. If you see a title that interests you from the Spring 1995 issue or earlier you can request a reprint online. The Related Sites page offers links to pain sites, cancer sites, and other sites, both inside and outside the United States It includes sites for governmental and professional organizations, research institutions, and project-specific links.

Potentially useful for PainLinkers interested in:

  • Research on cancer pain and palliative care
  • Professional education and training in different countries and regions
  • International issues regarding cancer pain management
  • Pain management in developing and industrialized nations
  • Regulatory and policy barriers to pain management
  • Successful strategies for changing laws and policies related to pain management

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Sites reviewed by Erica Jablonski, research assistant for the Mayday PainLink Project.

Last Updated: April 18, 2000