Discussions Between Patient and Provider: Often Insufficient and Misdirected

An article posted last week in National Pain Report discusses the findings of 2 new surveys that express the dissatisfaction of patients with chronic pain over the quality of their patient-provider conversations. In one survey, conducted on behalf of Teva Pharmaceuticals, respondents characterized these discussions as “uncomfortable,” primarily arising from the stigma attending prescription medication abuse. A significant proportion of both prescribers and patients worry that frank discussion of abuse would damage their relationships with patients (provider concern) or suggest that they have an addiction problem (patient concern).

A second survey that is still underway finds that even when patient-provider conversation is occurring, it is too often focused on issues of adherence, conformance, and conditions for continued prescribing, and not on approaches to managing pain conditions (as opposed to cure) and improving overall patient quality of life. The study is being managed by Terri Lewis, PhD, a patient advocate who is exploring some of the topics raised in the draft of the National Pain Strategy suggested by the Institute of Medicine’s 2011 report on relieving pain in America.

Read the National Pain Report posting here, with opportunity to participate in Dr. Lewis’ survey.


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