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Comprehensive Caregiver Supports and Ascertainment and Treatment of Veteran Pain.

Van Houtven CH, Smith VA, Miller KEM, Berkowitz TSZ, Shepherd-Banigan M, Hein T, Penney LS, Allen KD, Kabat M, Jobin T, Hastings SN. Comprehensive Caregiver Supports and Ascertainment and Treatment of Veteran Pain. Medical care research and review : MCRR. 2023 Dec 7; 10775587231210026.

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Disabled Veterans commonly experience pain. The Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC) provides training, a stipend, and services to family caregivers of eligible Veterans to support their caregiving role. We compared ascertainment of veteran pain and pain treatment through health care encounters and medications (pain indicators) of participants (treated group) and non-participants (comparison group) using inverse probability treatment weights. Modeled results show that the proportion of Veterans with a pain indicator in the first year post-application was higher than that pre-application for both groups. However, the proportion of Veterans with a pain indicator was substantially higher in the treatment group: 76.1% versus 63.9% in the comparison group ( < .001). Over time, the proportion of Veterans with any pain indicator fell and group differences lessened. However, differences persisted through 8 years post-application ( < .001). PCAFC caregivers appear to help Veterans engage in pain treatment at higher rates than caregivers not in PCAFC.

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