Academic Consortium Comments to CDC: Management of Acute and Chronic Pain Request for Comment (HHS Docket No. CDC-2020-0029)

Cover Page to Comments (Appendices 1, 2 and 3)

The Academic Consortium agrees with the 2016 CDC Guideline that nonpharmacologic therapy and non-opioid pharmacologic therapy are preferred for chronic pain. CDC 2016 Guidelines also addressed the goal of reducing opioid risks by tapering doses and avoiding opioids in many cases. We also encourage a broadening of the base of care to specifically include measures to improve health and wellbeing as a mitigation strategy for people in pain as detailed in the Veterans Health Administration’s Whole Health System of Care.1 This aligns with the 2016 CDC Guidelines to use effective, lower risk strategies first. Specificity in comprehensive pain care options by the CDC would help hospitals and health care practitioners make better, evidence-based choices. 

The Academic Consortium provides leadership and has extensive experience in incorporating evidence-based approaches such as acupuncture therapy, massage therapy, manual therapies, meditative movement, and mind-body therapies for multimodal comprehensive pain care. These nonpharmacologic therapies have positive safety profile and low risk of adverse effects. In response to the CDC call to comment, we respectfully submit the attached statements for updating and revising the 2016 Guidelines, supported by the current literature.

Appendix 1 Academic Consortium Comment HHS Docket No. CDC 2020-0029. prepared by Arya Nielsen, PhD, Heather Tick, MD, Co-chairs, Academic Consortium Pain Task Force

Appendix 2 Docket No. CDC-2020-0029 Academic Consortium Definitionsprepared by Arya Nielsen, PhD; Heather Tick, MD; Co-chairs Academic Consortium Pain Task Force

Appendix 3: Tick H, Nielsen A, Pelletier KR, et al. Evidence-based Nonpharmacologic Strategies for Comprehensive Pain Care: The Consortium Pain Task Force White Paper. Explore (NY). 2018;14(3):177-211.

Who we are: the Academic Consortium for Integrative Medicine & Health (Academic Consortium) is the organizational home for the major academic health centers and health systems in North America that have programs in integrative medicine and health. Integrative medicine and health reaffirms the importance of the relationship between practitioner and patient, focuses on the whole person, is informed by evidence, and makes use of all appropriate therapeutic and lifestyle approaches, healthcare professionals and disciplines to achieve optimal health and healing. The Academic Consortium was founded in 1999 by eight academic health centers including Duke University, Harvard University, Stanford University, University of California, San Francisco, University of Arizona, University of Maryland, University of Massachusetts, and the University of Minnesota. Now with more than 70 institutional members, the Academic Consortium continues to grow and represents thousands of scientists, educators, clinicians, and other health professionals who share an interest in the field of Integrative Medicine and Health. The Academic Consortium’s mission is to advance evidence-based integrative medicine and health in research, curricula and sustainable models of clinical care.

1.            Bokhour BB, Hyde JK, Zeliadt S, Mohr DC. Whole Health System of Care Evaluation- A Progress Report on Outcomes of the WHS Pilot at 18 Flagship Sites. 2020; Veterans Health Administration, Center for Evaluating Patient-Centered Care in VA (EPCC-VA); Accessed June 12, 2020.