Background Multidisciplinary pain treatment facilities (MPTFs) are considered the optimal settings for the management of chronic pain (CP). This study aimed (1) to determine the distribution of MPTFs across Canada, (2) to document time to access and types of services, and (3) to compare the results to those obtained in 2005–2006.
Methods This cross-sectional study used the same MPTF definition as in 2005–2006—that is, a clinic staffed with professionals from a minimum of three different disciplines (including at least one medical specialty) and whose services were integrated within the facility. A comprehensive search strategy was used to identify existing MPTFs across Canada. Administrative leads at each MPTF were invited to complete an online questionnaire regarding their facilities.
Results Questionnaires were completed by 104 MPTFs (response rate 79.4%). Few changes were observed in the distribution of MPTFs across Canada compared with 12 years ago. Most (91.3%) are concentrated in large urban cities. Prince Edward Island and the Territories still lack MPTFs. The number of pediatric-only MPTFs has nearly doubled but remains small (n=9). The median wait time for a first appointment in publicly funded MPTFs is about the same as 12 years ago (5.5 vs 6 months). Small but positive changes were also observed.
Conclusion Accessibility to public MPTFs continues to be limited in Canada, resulting in lengthy wait times for a first appointment. Community-based MPTFs and virtual care initiatives to distribute pain services into regional and remote communities are needed to provide patients with CP with optimal care.
- chronic pain
- outcome assessment
- health care
- pain management
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Twitter @DrODWilliamson, @kbaerg
Contributors MC and PP: study design/planning; acquisition, analysis and interpretation of results; manuscript preparation and review. IG, NB, OW, and AJ-M: acquisition, analysis and interpretation of results; manuscript review. KB, AB, TDR, GAF, HI and JP acquisition, analysis, and interpretation of results; manuscript review.
Funding This study was funded by the Chronic Pain Network through the Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (grant # SCA-145102), an initiative of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.
Disclaimer The funding contributor had no role in the design and conduct of the study; the collection, management, analysis or interpretation of the data; the preparation, review or approval of the manuscript; or the decision to submit the manuscript for publication.
Competing interests KB receives royalties from Brush Education for the book "Teamwork, Leadership, and Communication: Collaboration Basics for Health Professionals."
Patient consent for publication Not required.
Ethics approval This study was approved by the Research Ethics Board of the Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Data availability statement Data are available on reasonable request.