WorkSafeBC appears to conclude that opioids are not useful for injured workers unless they help people get back to work. This article [BCMJ 2019;61:176,179] contains insufficient information in making conclusions about the use of opioids to help injured workers with chronic noncancer pain return to work. Patients in this group may not be able to return to work but may sleep better, have improved mood, and have better family relationships with proper pain control. The article is also missing key information about the nature of the injuries incurred by these workers (e.g., severe electrical event, loss of limb, severe back injury, head injury). It is true that the use of opioid analgesics for chronic pain is a last resort, following treatment with rehabilitation therapy, acupuncture, etc., in all but extreme cases. Physicians are not to blame for the appalling epidemic of deaths due to street fentanyl. The current restrictions arising from the epidemic have left many patients in a painful limbo, which may lead many of them to turn to these same dangerous street drugs.
—Helen Hays, MD, CCFP, FCFP
This letter was submitted in response to “WorkSafeBC’s multimodal approach to chronic noncancer pain management: New hotline for physicians.”
Above is the information needed to cite this article in your paper or presentation. The International Committee
of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recommends the following citation style, which is the now nearly universally
accepted citation style for scientific papers:
Halpern SD, Ubel PA, Caplan AL, Marion DW, Palmer AM, Schiding JK, et al. Solid-organ transplantation in HIV-infected patients. N Engl J Med. 2002;347:284-7.
About the ICMJE and citation styles
The ICMJE is small group of editors of general medical journals who first met informally in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1978 to establish guidelines for the format of manuscripts submitted to their journals. The group became known as the Vancouver Group. Its requirements for manuscripts, including formats for bibliographic references developed by the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), were first published in 1979. The Vancouver Group expanded and evolved into the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), which meets annually. The ICMJE created the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals to help authors and editors create and distribute accurate, clear, easily accessible reports of biomedical studies.
An alternate version of ICMJE style is to additionally list the month an issue number, but since most journals use continuous pagination, the shorter form provides sufficient information to locate the reference. The NLM now lists all authors.
BCMJ standard citation style is a slight modification of the ICMJE/NLM style, as follows:
- Only the first three authors are listed, followed by "et al."
- There is no period after the journal name.
- Page numbers are not abbreviated.
For more information on the ICMJE Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals, visit www.icmje.org