British journal of pain
Identifying operations and individuals with an increased risk of chronic postsurgical pain (CPSP) has led to significant interest in interventions with the potential to achieve primary prevention of this condition. Pharmacological prevention remains controversial with a Cochrane review identifying perioperative ketamine administration as the only intervention with possible benefit although, with only small, heterogeneous studies, the authors called for a large randomised controlled trial (RCT) to confirm the validity of this result. In response to these data, a group of researchers from Australia and Hong Kong designed the ROCKet trial - Reduction Of Chronic Post-surgical Pain with Ketamine, endorsed by the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA) Clinical Trials Network (CTN).
In an era of considerable advances in anaesthesiology and pain medicine, chronic pain after major surgery continues to be problematic. This article briefly reviews the known psychological risk and protective factors associated with the development of chronic postsurgical pain (CPSP). We begin with a definition of CPSP and then explain what we mean by a risk/protective factor. ⋯ Psychological interventions that target known psychological risk factors while enhancing protective psychological factors may reduce new incidence of CPSP. The primary goal of our ACT intervention is to teach patients a mindful way of responding to their postsurgical pain that empowers them to interrupt the negative cycle of pain, distress, behavioural avoidance and escalating opioid use that can limit functioning and quality of life while paradoxically amplifying pain over time. Early clinical outcome data suggest that patients who receive care from TPS physicians reduce their pain and opioid use, yet patients who also receive our ACT intervention have a larger decrease in daily opioid dose while reporting less pain interference and lower depression scores.