New Special Interest Group

The Creation of a New Special Interest Group for Intensive Interdisciplinary Pain Treatment Programs
in the Society for Pediatric Pain Medicine

By Eugene Kim, MD
Chief, Division of Pain Medicine
Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
Assistant Professor of Clinical Anesthesiology
Department of Anesthesiology Critical Care Medicine
Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California
Los Angeles, California

and Sara Williams, PhD
Associate Professor
UC Department of Pediatrics
University of Cincinnati
Cincinnati, Ohio

Intensive Interdisciplinary Pain Treatment (IIPT) programs use a biopsychosocial approach to improve function for pediatric patients with chronic pain conditions that result in significant functional and physical impairment. IIPT is collaborative by nature; an integrated team of physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, psychologists, physical/occupational therapists, child life specialists, school teachers and other professionals within an institution working together on patient care in real time. However, there are limited opportunities for collaboration between programs, which results in practice variances, limited educational opportunities, and poses barriers to research and quality improvement, all of which limit our ability to advance care for children with chronic pain.

To bridge this gap, the SPPM IIPT Special Interest Group (SIG) was created to promote collaboration between IIPT programs nationally. The IIPT SIG can provide a professional home for an interdisciplinary group of providers to network and collaborate, promote cross-program research to determine best practices and identify common measures, and disseminate evidence-based information on pediatric chronic pain to healthcare trainees and systems. The IIPT SIG can also serve as a resource in the development of new, quality-driven resources to educate the public about pediatric chronic pain treatment and improve patients’ access to care.

Specific objectives of the IIPT SIG are as follows:

  • Create a forum for the development of ideas and methods to improve collaboration among a wide range of specialties. 
    • Promote participation of various specialties at SPPM meetings
  • Outline, define, and monitor metrics and outcomes of IIPT programs nationally through collaborative research.
  • Advocate for evidence-based pediatric pain programs by developing standards for IIPT programs and creating communications for member programs.
  • Support institutions on developing their own programs.
  • Create and disseminate public materials to educate patients and families on chronic pain rehabilitation and improve access to care.
  • Support the SPPM Education Committee regarding ideas for education programming on IIPT-related topics.
  • Promote health equity by collaboratively monitoring IIPT outcomes as they relate to vulnerable and diverse populations and promoting prevention and intervention strategies that address disparities.

By creating the IIPT SIG, we can take the next steps in building a thriving, national community among all IIPT programs to improve the science, quality, and access to care for children with chronic pain.

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