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Patients Get Tools for Managing their Chronic Pain at 11th Street

April 19, 2013

photo of Barbara PostmontierPatients with chronic pain now have the opportunity to participate in group education sessions at 11th Street Family Health Services of Drexel University to get the tools and knowledge they need to best manage their pain.

“If there’s anything that needs the centering model, it’s chronic pain,” said Sarah Wenger, DPT, an assistant clinical professor and the Coordinator of Experiential Learning in the Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences. The centering model takes an interdisciplinary approach by providing weekly discussion-based classes taught by a physical therapist, nurse, social worker, complementary and integrative therapist, music therapist, and dance/movement therapist. Wenger had the idea for the chronic pain group two years ago and has been the leader in its implementation at 11th Street this year.

The class gives patients a place to learn about their pain alongside other people who are experiencing similar challenges. Wenger said that it’s a place to share but not complain; the group focuses on education and skill development rather than on negative thoughts. Each class cycle runs for 20 weeks with a new topic addressed each week. The schedule is flexible and allows patients to help select topics that are important to them.

Drexel Students in the Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences are learning through experiences building participant tool kits, designing hand-outs and developing lesson plans for the chronic pain group.