Guidelines for program evaluation in chronic non-malignant pain management

Steven H. Sanders*, Karen S. Rucker, Karen O. Anderson, R. Norman Harden, Karl W. Jackson, Peter J. Vicente, Rollin M. Gallagher

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


The current article offers guidelines to systematically evaluate programs which treat chronic non-malignant pain syndrome patients. The guidelines represent a basic program evaluation strategy and include specific recommendations and choices on measurement-assessment tools based upon available research literature and common clinical practice. They are based on evaluation by objectives, which include the program's ability to reduce the misuse of medications, increase physical function, increase productive activity at home, work and socially, improve overall mood, reduce subjective pain intensity, reduce the use of healthcare, when applicable, achieve equitable case settlement, and minimize pain treatment program cost without compromising quality of care. The method and timing of assessing each of these objectives are delineated with an emphasis on using reliable, valid measures which can be applied effectively within a clinical setting. The guidelines also advocate patient and staff satisfaction assessment, thus offering a fully integrated program evaluation system which can measure effectiveness and allow ongoing improvement in care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19-25
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Back and Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 1996


  • Chronic pain
  • Guidelines
  • Pain rehabilitation
  • Program evaluation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation

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