Dr. Andrea Furlan

Toronto Rehab scientist and clinician Dr. Andrea Furlan has dedicated her career to helping people live well with chronic pain.

Dr. Furlan completed her residency in Physiatry at the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil and she obtained her PhD in clinical epidemiology from the University of Toronto (U of T). Her thesis focused on methods to search and analyze non-randomized studies of interventions for low back pain.

Currently, she is also an associate professor in the Department of Medicine’s Division of Physiatry at U of T, a scientist at the Institute for Work & Health and the coordinating editor of the Cochrane Back Review Group.

Her main research interests include chronic pain, low-back pain and neuropathic pain. She has over 60 publications in peer-reviewed journals, has written five book chapters and has been an invited speaker at many local, national and international conferences. She spends about 80 per cent of her time as a researcher and 20 per cent as a clinician.

Dr. Furlan was the team leader for the development of the Canadian Opioid Guideline, and is now involved with Guideline’s National Faculty in dissemination and implementation of the guideline across Canada.

She has played a big role in developing a new guideline to help doctors when they are considering whether to prescribe opioids for their patients. “The goal is to reduce abuse and addiction problems with these medications and ensure that the right people are getting them,” says Dr. Furlan.

The Guideline includes 24 practice recommendations for doctors. To encourage widespread use of the Guideline, Dr. Furlan created a new app for iPhone and iPad that helps doctors decide whether to prescribe opioids and makes it easier to monitor patients taking these drugs for non-cancer pain, such as osteoarthritis and low back pain. Called Opioid Manager, the app launched in September 2012.

In 2014 she received funds from the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to conduct a demonstration project to replicate the ECHO model in Ontario. She is the co-chair of ECHO Ontario which is using Ontario Telemedicine Network to bridge the knowledge gap between pain specialsits and primary care all across Ontario.

Media appearances by Dr. Furlan include: Related news:
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