Mobile mental heath developer Wellmind Health, has seen its digital pain management programme (PMP), Pathway through Pain, successfully complete the assessment process for inclusion in the NHS Apps Library.Expand
The Pathway is an alternative to the prescribing of opioids for chronic pain. The recently published draft NICE guidelines on chronic pain said that GPs should not prescribe opioids and certain other medicines to patients suffering from chronic pain due to a lack of evidence for their effectiveness and the risk of harm.
Pathway through Pain educates patients on pain physiology, pain psychology and pain self-management and contains elements such as guided practice on exercise, relaxation, mindfulness, CBT and changing unhelpful ways of thinking and habits. Participants are supported and encouraged in practising these skills in their homes, to become expert in their application and in integrating them into their daily routines.
The service is already provided to patients across the UK, from GP Surgeries and Pain Clinics to IAPT and Community Health Services. A 2019 research study published in the British Journal of Pain found that patients who completed the Pathway made significant improvements across various outcome measures, and also reported an average healthcare cost saving of £240 per patient in the year after the intervention.
Richard Latham, CEO of Wellmind Health, said: “We’ve been working with regional NHS pain services to achieve the highest clinical standards for Pathway through Pain since its launch back in 2011, so it’s exciting to have this recognition at a national level. The NHS continues to lead the way in promoting the benefits of using apps to effectively self-manage chronic health conditions. The ability of patients to self-manage chronic pain effectively has become increasingly important since the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic and the need to reduce face-to-face contact.”