Episode 252 - Melissa Watson and Annie O'Connor, part 2: A Community Pain Education Program

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Melissa Watson

In episode 252 we continue our conversation with Melissa Watson and Annie O’Connor of the Shirley Ryan Ability Lab in the Chicago area.  We talk about the yellow flag risk form, what it measures and how it’s tied to patient outcomes. We also talk about a community outreach pain education program which some clinicians are using to serve those in chronic pain and which is proving to generate additional patients into their practice.  This week on MCF!

Show Notes

Yellow Flag Risk Form

Annie talks about the origin of the form and the details of the form; its relevance and use in her clinic. She talks about the study projects using the Yellow Flag Risk form for psychosocial risk factors, as a functional outcome measure. They also did a study and used it as a functional outcome measure for patients in a pain group who received a 5 week pain science education and were able to show a 300 percent functional change. In the same study they were able to compare and conclude that the Yellow Flag Risk form was equivalent to the usual PT and OT functional outcome measures to assess change. 

Annie also talks about the most recent research study to use the Yellow Flag Risk form for establishing classification of peripheral neurogenic pain mechanism for patient’s symptoms. 

Pain Program

Annie talks about how their approach is different from the interdisciplinary bootcamp pain programs found in the healthcare community. She describes how their approach is more about pain science education and its integration in the community at a larger scale. 

Melissa details their approach at a group and individual level at the Day Rehabilitation center. She talks about the benefits and limitations of small and large groups for the program. She details how the community has adapted the program and integrated it with other approaches like Tai Chi and how the program can be a volume generator for referrals. 

The pain program is a non pharmacological program which focuses on education and active movement and Melissa and Annie outlines for interested clinicians, how the program can be executed.

Future Plans and More Information

Melissa gives information about their social media presence and how to reach them for more information. She also talks about future plans for community outreach and the start of an international pain group.