What Does the Precision Ascend Program Involve?
Our Precision Ascend programs involve groups of 6-12 patients at a time working with a small team of highly trained and experienced staff.
Precision Ascend is a part time program that runs over 6 weeks (two and a half days per week). This is followed by a structured 6-week 'home or work', during which you will take your knowledge and skills back to your everyday life. Individual follow-up is provided as required.
Features of the Precision Ascend pain management program include:
The Main Components of Precision Ascend:
Precision Ascend is a multidisciplinary integrated pain management program which aims to offer something greater than the sum of its individual parts. To help you understand the mechanics of how Precision Ascend works, we can summarise the main components:
A cognitive behavioural strategy will challenge any negative thoughts and encourage changes in behaviour. Our Health and Clinical Psychologists will assist you, both in an individual and group therapy setting, with the following:
- Pain education
- Stress management
- Relaxation and distraction techniques
- Goal setting
- Problem solving
- Depression, anxiety and anger management
Occupational therapy is utilised in the following areas:
- Basic ergonomics
- Back support cushions and seating
- Manual handling and lifting instructions
- Work skills and workplace assessments
- Job suitability
What Happens After Precision Ascend?
Our involvement in your care does not end with the 6 week program. Individuals are taught to apply the pain management strategies they learnt during the Precision Ascend program when they return home and to work after the program finishes. Those who do this achieve more robust and long-lasting gains.
All participants are assisted to develop a 6-week ‘home-plan’ at the end of the main program. These plans include a daily timetable of exercises and activities, as well as reminders of strategies to handle any pain flare-ups or other set-backs.
After the 6-week home-plan phase participants return to the Precision Ascend clinic to review their progress with our team. These reviews last a few hours and are extremely important. A similar review is also offered 6-months post-program.
For some, especially those with ongoing mood or other issues, we offer a series of individual sessions with one of the Precision Ascend staff, usually our health or clinical psychologist. Typically, no more than 5 individual sessions are required.
Who is Suitable for Precision Ascend?
People suffering from chronic pain (lasting more than 3 months) may be suitable. Pain can result from a number of conditions including:
The usual entry criteria into the Precision Ascend Program are:
Who is Unsuitable for Precision Ascend?
Unfortunately, some people are unlikely to be able to benefit from Precision Ascend. Our exclusion criteria include:
Precision Ascend and Work-Related Injuries
Many back, neck and other conditions which result in chronic pain and disability result from injuries at work. Chronic pain commonly results in a loss of work capacity, and the longer that an individual is out of work, the less likely it is that they will get back into the workforce. A key goal of Precision Ascend is to enable injured workers to resume their place in the workforce in a safe and sustained fashion.
For those with long-term pain who are distressed and disabled, a number of studies have shown that intensive, cognitive-behavioural-based pain management programs can achieve significant gains in functional, mood, treatment costs, and return to work.
Guzman et al. [British Medical Journal 2001; 322: 1511-1516] provided evidence that multidisciplinary biopsychosocial rehabilitation with functional restoration reduces pain and improves function in those with chronic lower back pain.
Watson et al. [European Journal of Pain 2004; 8: 359-369] showed that over 60% of chronically unemployed individuals with back pain, who underwent a pain management rehabilitation program incorporating vocational focussing and advice, were able to return to the workforce in either a full-time or part-time capacity.
These results are supported by a more recent study published by Poulain et al. [European Spine Journal 2010; 19: 1153-1161] who examined the effectiveness of a functional restoration program for chronic lower back pain. 55% returned to work after mean follow-up time of 3.5 years (only 9% worked at the start of the program). Quality of life, functional capacity, psychological factors, and fear and avoidance beliefs were all significantly improved.