Activity

Identifying Disabling Medical Conditions Likely to Improve with Treatment


Type: Consensus Study
Topics: Diseases
Board: Board on Health Care Services

Activity Description

In response to a request from the Social Security Administration (SSA), the Health and Medicine Division (HMD) of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (the National Academies) will conduct a study to identify disabling medical conditions that are likely to improve with treatment. Of particular interest, for this study, are those long-lasting conditions (12 months or more) in the categories of mental disorders, cancers, and musculoskeletal disorders only.

Specifically, the National Academies will convene a committee to:

1. Identify and define the professionally accepted, standard measurements of outcomes improvement for medical conditions noted in #2 below;

2. Identify specific, long-lasting (12-month duration or longer) medical conditions for adults in the categories of mental disorders (such as depressive disorders, anxiety disorders, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder), cancers (such as breast, skin, thyroid), and musculoskeletal disorders (such as disorders of the back, osteoarthritis, other arthropathies), that are disabling for a length of time, but typically (for most people with the condition) do not result in permanently disabling limitations, are responsive to treatment, and, after a specific length of time of treatment, improve to the point at which the conditions are no longer disabling; and

3. For the conditions identified in Objective 2 (above):
a. Describe the professionally accepted diagnostic criteria, and the average age of onset and the gender distribution, for each condition;
b. Identify the types of medical professionals involved in the care of a person with the condition;
c. Describe the treatments used to improve a person's functioning, the settings in which the treatments are provided, and how people are identified for the treatments;
d. Describe the length of time from start of treatment until the person's functioning improves to the point of which the condition is no longer disabling and specific ages where improvement is more probable;
e. Identify the laboratory or other findings used to assess improvement and, if patient self-report is used, identify alternative methods that can be used to achieve the same assessment; and
f. Explain whether pain is associated with the condition and, if so, describe the types of treatment prescribed to alleviate the pain (including alternatives to opioid pain management such as non-pharmacological and multi-modal therapies).

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