An important turning point in chronic pain management was the U.S. Opioid Epidemic. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated in its first recommendation that non-pharmacologic therapy and non-opioid pharmacologic therapy are preferred for chronic pain. Acupuncture is widely used as an alternative treatment for chronic pain. Clinical Pathway are structured, multi-disciplinary plans of care designed to support the implementation of clinical guidelines and protocols. The purpose of this article is to assess the effectiveness of integrated clinical pathway approach for chronic pain treatment with acupuncture in a Pain Clinic.
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This longitudinal, observational, retrospective study included adults (>18 years) with common chronic pain condition treated at the Son Llàtzer University Hospital Pain Clinic, in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, from January 2015 to December 2018. All patients received treatment according to the Acupuncture Clinical Pathway developed. The primary outcome measures will be the change in pain intensity measured by the Numerical Rating Scale (NRS) for pain at the completion of treatment. Number of responders, reduction in pain medication intake, improvement of quality of life scale, sleep quality index and scale of anxiety and depression after treatment are also to be included in the study. The data will be collected from the EHR, through the electronic forms designed for the different treatment visits included in the Acupuncture Treatment Clinic Pathway within the Son Llàtzer University Hospital Pain Clinic. The case report form (CRF), specially designed for the study written by the researchers and outcome assessors, will be entered into electronic database hosted at the Son Llàtzer University Hospital on the research computer server. Any paper study records will be kept in locked storage cabinets. All electronic participant study records will be stored in the password-protected computer study database accessible to the researchers only.