Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

VA Health Systems Research

Go to the VA ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR&D Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

Workforce Development to Improve Access to Pain Care for Veterans: A Qualitative Analysis of VA-ECHO Participant Experiences.

Subramaniam S, Stryczek KC, Ball S, Stevenson L, Ho PM, Aron DC. Workforce Development to Improve Access to Pain Care for Veterans: A Qualitative Analysis of VA-ECHO Participant Experiences. Health services research and managerial epidemiology. 2022 Sep 7; 9:23333928221124806.

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions


BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVE: The prevalence of chronic pain and its links to the opioid epidemic have given way to widespread aims to improve pain management care and reduce opioid use, especially in rural areas. Pain Management Specialty Care Access Network-Extension for Community Health Outcomes (VA-ECHO) promotes increased pain care access to rural Veterans through knowledge sharing from specialists to primary care providers (PCPs). We explored PCP participants'' experiences in VA-ECHO and pain management care. METHODS: This qualitative study is based on a descriptive secondary analysis of semi-structured interviews (n? = 10) and 3 focus groups with PCPs participating in VA-ECHO from 2017-2019. A rapid matrix analysis approach was used to analyze participants'' responses. RESULTS: VA-ECHO was an effective workforce development strategy for meeting PCPs'' training needs by providing pain management knowledge and skills training (eg alternative care approaches and communicating treatment options). Having protected time to participate in VA-ECHO was a challenge for many PCPs, mitigated by leadership and administrative support. Participants who volunteer to participate had more positive experiences than those required to attend. CONCLUSIONS: VA-ECHO could be used for meeting the workforce development needs of PCPs. Respondents were satisfied with the program citing improvement in their practice and increased confidence in providing pain management care to Veterans despite some challenges to participation. These findings offer insight into using VA-ECHO to meet the VHA''s workforce development to improve Veterans'' access to pain management care. The ECHO model presents opportunities for workforce development in large complex healthcare systems and garnering ongoing support for this training model is necessary for promoting workforce development for PCPs.

Questions about the HSR website? Email the Web Team

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.