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Spotlight on Pain Management

Communicating about Opioids for Chronic Pain: What really happens in clinic visits?


by Marianne Matthias, Ph.D.
Seminar date: 4/1/2014

Description: Chronic pain is widely regarded as challenging for both patients and clinicians. Research describes difficult communication and strained relationships between patients and their providers. Patient-provider communication about chronic pain can be especially problematic when discussing opioids, including initiating, reducing, or discontinuing opioids, or employing opioid monitoring strategies such as urine drug testing or opioid agreements. However, most of our understanding about this problematic communication comes from either anecdotal reports or from interview studies. Little research exists that analyzes actual clinical communication between patients with chronic pain and their providers. This seminar presents the results from a pilot study involving 30 audio-recorded primary care clinic visits with patients with chronic pain, followed by in-depth interviews with patients. Target Audience: Researchers, clinicians

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