Pauline Anderson

September 22, 2016

SAN ANTONIO — The American Academy of Pain Management has now become the Academy of Integrative Pain Management in an effort to better reflect how pain is treated today, the society says.

"Since it was founded in 1988, this organization has promoted a multimodal, multidisciplinary approach to treating pain — what is now referred to as integrative pain management," said Bob Twillman, PhD, executive director of the Academy in explaining the name change.

Members will be holding their first meeting here under the new configuration of the Academy.

Several recent important initiatives have reinforced the notion that integrative pain management "is the only safe and sane way to approach chronic pain," said Dr Twillman, who is also a clinical associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, University of Kansas School of Medicine, Kansas City.

These initiatives include the 2011 Institute of Medicine report ("Relieving Pain in America: A Blueprint for Transforming Prevention, Care, Education, and Research"), the National Pain Strategy announced earlier this year (which outlines the US federal government's first coordinated plan for reducing the burden of chronic pain), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guideline for prescribing opioids for chronic pain, he said.

"In addition to being the right way to treat pain, we believe that integrative pain management is part of the solution to prescription opioid abuse, because an integrative approach will undoubtedly reduce unnecessary opioid exposures," said Dr Twillman.

In light of these developments, changing the name of the Academy "was the right thing to do," added Dr Twillman. "It most properly expresses what we do and distinguishes us from other pain management organizations with similar names."

A vote by the membership earlier this year showed that 70% favored the name change. The Academy currently has about 3700 members.

Although members debated keeping the word "American," in the end they decided to change it. As Dr Twillman explained, this leaves the door open to becoming more of an international organization at some point in future.

"We thought that all the word 'American' really did was to limit our geographic scope."

The name change has involved "a pile of paperwork," commented Dr Twillman. The group has to alert the California Secretary of State's office (since it's incorporated in that state), and it has to notify all vendors.

But the actual cost of the official filings has been minimal. "The much bigger cost has to do with changing things like the website, letterhead, business cards, et cetera," said Dr Twillman.

American Academy of Pain Management (AAPM) 2016 Annual Meeting

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