MHH launches new treatment program to prevent chronic pain

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Common ailment: Back pain is a problem for many people; Copyright: Karin Kaiser
Common ailment: Back pain is a problem for many people; Copyright: Karin Kaiser / MHH
PAIN2.0 is an outpatient therapy program for people with recurrent pain. Participation is now possible.

In Germany, more than twelve million people suffer from chronic pain. This is often associated with physical limitations and depressive moods. To prevent pain from becoming chronic in the first place, the Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine at Hannover Medical School (MHH) offers a special outpatient therapy program. It is called PAIN2.0, and is an extra-occupational, ten-week project aimed at adult patients with constantly recurring pain. "With the program, we want to close a gap in care, because for many people, the chronification of pain progresses unnecessarily. Prevention of chronic pain is also necessary and possible on an outpatient basis," says private lecturer Dr. Martin Dusch, head of the Department of Pain Medicine. PAIN2.0 is an initiative of the German Pain Society and Barmer Health Insurance. A total of 22 medical facilities are participating in the nationwide care study.

Experts from medicine, psychology and physiotherapy are involved

The program consists of individual sessions and group therapy. In the group, patients work with specialists from medicine, psychology and physiotherapy. Participants are viewed from all perspectives, receive individualized care and optimal therapy. "The concept is based on current scientific findings on the prevention of chronic pain," explains PD Dr. Dusch. On the one hand, participants are taught about pain and its risk factors, and on the other, they are trained in physical exercises. In this way, they will learn to integrate preventive strategies into their everyday lives. The aim of the care project is to maintain the performance and self-efficacy of those affected.

Innovation fund supports project

The PAIN2.0 project is being funded by the Innovation Fund at the Federal Joint Committee with around seven million euros over three years. "We hope for good project results," says PD Dr. Dusch. After completion of the study and evaluation in around three years, the new treatment program could then be transferred to standard care in the German healthcare system.

Participation in the therapy program is open immediately. Adults who have been suffering from recurring pain for more than six weeks and adults who feel restricted in their lifestyle because of recurring pain are being sought. If interested, they can contact: MHH Pain Outpatient Clinic, Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine, Carl-Neuberg-Str. 1, 30625 Hannover, Germany, phone (0511) 532-3108, e-mail: schmerzambulanz @ mh-hannover.de.