Current chronic primary pain management collaborative practices within Canadian Armed Forces physiotherapists & occupational therapists

Purpose: In Canada, chronic pain is more prevalent in the military than in the general population. Although collaborative approaches to interventions are recommended, little is known about chronic pain rehabilitation practices within Canadian Forces Health Services (CFHS). Therefore, collaborative, chronic primary pain practices of CFHS physiotherapists and occupational therapists were explored.

Methods: Bilingual, online survey, descriptive statistical and content analysis methodology.

Findings: The survey was completed by seventy-seven respondents [61% response rate] with 45.5% reporting they manage chronic primary pain representative of 26-50% of their caseloads. Skill deficits led 50.6% to outsource this population. Contrary to best practice recommendations, siloed, consultative, multidisciplinary approaches were revealed by 64.9% of respondents. No regular collaborative rounds occurred in 71.4% and 58.4% reported never attending coordinated case conferences.

Conclusion: Changes are required to move CFHS away from silos and instead, foster improved biopsychosocial collaborations in achieving patient-centred, multimodal, multidisciplinary chronic pain program delivery.