Social Robots Can Provide Pain Relief For Some Patients with Dementia Interview with:

Lihui (Sara) Pu RN, PhD Candidate
School of Nursing and Midwifery & Menzies Health Institute Queensland  
Griffith University
Queensland, Australia  What is the background for this study?

Response: With the development of technologies, there is a growing body of research on social robots aiming to meet the care needs of people with dementia. The use of a robotic seal PARO has been shown to improve mood and acute pain for people with dementia. However, little attention has been paid to the effect of PARO on people with dementia and chronic pain.

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No Current Credible Evidence Cannabis Use is Helpful in Opioid Addiction Interview with:

Dr. Zena Samaan , MBChB, MSc, DMMD, MRCPsych (UK), PhD
Associate Professor
Program Director
Clinician Investigator Program
Faculty of Health Sciences
Department of Psychiatry
   Dr. Zena Samaan , MBChB, MSc, DMMD, MRCPsych  (UK), PhD  What is the background for this study?

Response: The study background: the interest in cannabis use as a replacement for opioid use was sparked by reports suggesting that cannabis is a safer alternative and the public perception of cannabis as the answer for many health problems is growingly fueling the debate on the potential use of cannabis to help in the opioid crisis. Reports from USA for example in 2014 using administrative data suggested that in States were there is medical cannabis law, the rate of death attributed to opioids was lower, generating wide media attention. Since then however an updated study using the same data published in 2019 showed that when the data were re-analyzed and the time frame was extended, the opposite was seen, in that states with cannabis law had higher opioid related mortality.

Our study came form the observations that patients with opioid use disorder are commonly using cannabis (~50% of patients used cannabis while on treatment for opioid addiction) and given the recent public interest, our goal was to provide evidence informed conclusions on the potential effects of cannabis on opioid use in patients with opioid addiction.

Pain a Risk Factor for Frailty in Older Mexican Americans Interview with:
Jaspreet K. Sodhi, PT, MPT, MPH, PhD
Division of Rehabilitation Sciences
University of Texas Medical Branch
Galveston, TX

Jaspreet K. Sodhi, PT, MPT, MPH, PhD
Division of Rehabilitation Sciences
University of Texas Medical Branch
 Galveston, TX
Dr. Sodhi  What is the background for this study?

Response: Little is known about the effect of pain and the long-term risk of becoming frail among older Mexican Americans, a population with high rates of frailty. The current study examined whether pain in older Mexican Americans is a risk factor for frailty among those who were non-frail at baseline.

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Short and Long-Term Effects of Cannabis For Headache and Migraine Pain Relief Interview with:
Carrie Cuttler, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Washington State University
Department of Psychology
Pullman, WA, 99164-4820  What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings?

Response: Use of cannabis for headache and migraine is relatively common yet there have been few studies examining the effectiveness of medical cannabis for these purposes. What should readers take away from your report?

Response: We analyzed data from nearly 20,000 cannabis use sessions tracked using the medical cannabis app Strainprint. The results show that headache and migraine severity ratings were reduced by nearly 50% from before to immediately after cannabis use. The results further revealed that men report larger reductions in headache severity following cannabis use than do women and that use of cannabis concentrates was associated with larger reductions in headache severity ratings than use of more traditional cannabis flower.

We also demonstrate that dose of cannabis used to manage these conditions increases across time and that efficacy of cannabis in reducing headache decreases across time. This indicates that there is some evidence of tolerance to the acute effects of cannabis on ameliorating headache across time. More encouragingly we found that baseline ratings of headache and migraine remained stable across time/cannabis use sessions which indicates that cannabis is not associated with the medication overuse headaches (i.e., increases in baseline headache and migraine severity across time as a function of the use of medications to treat these conditions) that more conventional treatments tend to produce.

Self-Reported Prescription Drug Use for Pain Relief and Sleep Linked to Frailty. Interview with:
Andrew W Bergen, PhD
Senior Scientist
Oregon Research Institute
Eugene, OR 97403

Dr. Bergen  What is the background for this study?

Response: The background to the study is examination of the incident frailty risks of two classes of prescription drugs commonly co-prescribed in response to pain and sleep indications.

The dataset consisted of N=7,201 non-frail, age 65+, community-living individuals from the Health and Retirement Study, a nationally representative longitudinal cohort interviewed every two years.

The drug exposure measures are based on responses to the two questions: “Do you regularly take prescription medications for any of the following common health problems:

For pain in your joints or muscles?” and “Do you regularly take prescription medications for any of the following common health problems: To help you sleep?”.

The outcome measure was the Burden Model of frailty using the conventional threshold of >0.2 for frailty.

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Which Adolescents Can Get Pain Relief from Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy? Interview with:
Caitlin Murray, PhD
Research Fellow
Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development
Seattle Children’s Research Institute

Caitlin Murray, PhD  Research Fellow  Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development  Seattle Children’s Research Institute
Dr. Murray  What is the background for this study?

Response: We know that chronic pain is a significant problem among children and adolescents, and that cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can be helpful. However, studies show that CBT doesn’t help every child or adolescent affected by chronic pain.

In this study, we explored what factors predicted adolescents’ response to internet-delivered CBT for chronic pain—that is, which factors made it more likely that adolescents would benefit from the CBT intervention. Our primary treatment outcome was pain-related disability, or the extent to which pain interfered with the adolescent’s daily activities.

We found that both adolescent age and parent emotional distress predicted treatment efficacy up to one year after treatment, such that adolescents who were younger and those whose parents expressed less distress were more likely to benefit from this form of cognitive-behavioral therapy.

Acupuncture for Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain Relief: A Review of Randomized Trial Interview with:
Chenchen Wang MD, MSc
Professor of Medicine
Tufts University School of Medicine
 Director, Center For Complementary And Integrative Medicine                                             
Division of Rheumatology
Tufts Medical Center, Boston, MA

Dr. Chenchen Wang
Dr. Chenchen Wang  What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings?

Response: Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain is a complex disorder without effective treatment Acupuncture, originating in China more than 3,000 years ago, is one of the most popular sensory stimulation therapies. However, despite the fact that acupuncture is widely used for pain relief in a number of conditions including severe knee osteoarthritis, acute postoperative pain, musculoskeletal disorders, evidence of the effect of Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain relief is scarce.

Our study was to determine the efficacy of acupuncture for pain relief in this field.

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Opioids Commonly Prescribed for Pain Relief from Osteoarthritis Interview with:

Dr. Jonas Bloch Thorlund  MSc, PhD
Professor of Musculoskeletal Health
Department of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics &
Research Unit for General Practice (Dept. of Public Health) 
Dr. Thorlund  What is the background for this study?

Response: Opioids are commonly prescribed to patients with knee and hip osteoarthritis (OA). But for newly diagnosed patients’ clinical guidelines recommend exercise therapy, patient education and weight loss (if needed) as first line treatment. These treatments can be supplemented or replaced with biomechanical interventions (insoles, wedges, cane use, etc.), and paracetamol and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) if needed. Generally, opioids are should only be used when other treatment options are exhausted, ineffective or contraindicated. Thus, treatment with opioids shortly after OA diagnosis is considered inappropriate according to guidelines.

CBD Oil for Pain Relief Can Increase Chance of Positive Cannabis Drug Test Interview with:

Tory R. Spindle, Ph.D
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Behavioral Pharmacology Research Unit
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences 
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Dr. Spindle  What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings?

Response: Cannabis and hemp products that contain CBD as the primary constituent have become widely available in the U.S. and are often used for various therapeutic purposes. However, there is presently little research to understand how such products could impact drug testing for cannabis which is commonly conducted in workplace, criminal justice, and other settings.

Drug testing for cannabis targets a common metabolite of THC called THCCOOH; THC is the primary psychoactive component of cannabis. Our results suggest that single use of a product that contains pure CBD would not produce a positive result on a standard urine drug test. However, we found that 2 of 6 participants tested positive for cannabis after they used a CBD-dominant strain of cannabis that contained a very low concentration of THC: only 0.39% THC.  

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Neck Pain: Deep Tissue Massage Can Offer Short Term Pain Relief Interview with:

Oscar Javier Pico-Espinosa | MD, MSc, PhD (c) Epidemiology
Karolinska Institutet  What is the background for this study?

Response: Persistent neck pain is a common condition and one of the main causes of sick leave worldwide. Patients often utilize non-pharmacological therapies such as massage or exercises. However, the evidence supporting the effectiveness of such treatments is either lacking or conflicting. With that in mind, we designed the Stockholm Neck (STONE) trial, where we compared deep tissue massage, strengthening and stretching exercises and a combination of those two (up to six sessions over six weeks), versus advice (up to three sessions of advice to stay active).

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