Objective: Chronic nonmalignant pain (CNMP) is both a prevalent and a costly health problem in our society. Pain rehabilitation programs have been shown to provide cost-effective treatment. A treatment goal for some rehabilitation programs is reduction in the use of pain-related medication. Medication costs savings from pain rehabilitation programs have not been analyzed in previous studies. Design: This prospective cohort study of 186 patients with CNMP addresses the costs of medications at admission to a 3-week outpatient pain rehabilitation program, at discharge, and at 6-month follow-up. Medication use was determined through a detailed pharmacist interview with patients at admission and discharge. Patients were sent questionnaires 6 months after program completion, which obtained current medication information. Results: Statistically significant medication cost savings were seen for program completers at discharge and at 6-month follow-up (P < 0.05). The mean (standard deviation) daily prescription medication cost reduction from admission to discharge was $9.31 ($12.70) using the average wholesale price of medications. From the original study cohort, 121 patients completed the 6-month follow-up survey. The mean daily prescription medication cost savings from admission to 6-month follow-up was $6.68 ($14.40). Conclusion: Patients benefited from significant medication cost savings at the completion of the 3-week outpatient pain rehabilitation program and maintained significant savings after 6 months. This study adds to the current literature on the economic value of comprehensive pain rehabilitation programs.
- Chronic pain
- Pain rehabilitation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine