PRP089: Exploring Patient Attitudes Toward Family Physicians Who Manage Chronic Pain: A qualitative Study

Jessica Parascando; David Bailey; Kevin Wile, MD; Alexis Reedy-Cooper, MD, MPH, MPH


Context: Approximately 50 million Americans suffer from chronic pain. Due to prescribing patterns over the last 20 years, a significant proportion of these patients rely on potentially dangerous doses of opioids to help manage their pain. There is also a recent push for physicians to decrease the total opioid dosing in individual patients to improve patient safety, causing tension and creating a significant strain on the patient-provider relationship. Fortunately, recent evidence suggests that non-pharmacologic interventions are effective in managing chronic pain. Objective: To better understand patient attitudes towards the medical care they receive for their pain, and to create a conversation amongst physicians to allow for improved patient care. Study Design: Qualitative study. Setting: Virtually over the phone. Population studied: Patients who receive their primary care through the Family and Community Medicine Department at Penn State Hershey Medical Center, and who meet a minimum daily morphine equivalent threshold (at least 50 morphine equivalents daily). Intervention: Thirty-minute telephone interviews asking questions about pain character and impact, attitudes toward care, and attitudes toward reducing opioid dosing. Results: Interviews are currently being transcribed and manually coded to identify themes. Preliminary data suggests that patients generally have positive attitudes towards their provider despite mixed feelings on medication tapering. Outcomes to be Reported: This qualitative study will report unique patient perspectives regarding how their chronic pain is managed by family physicians and the impact it has on their overall care.
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Tim Riley

This is an important exploration of the relationship pain patients have with their primary care providers. It uncovers some interesting potential barriers to group visits for chronic pain, including stigmatization and economic issues. Really important to bear in mind if hoping to create this type of intervention. Well done!

Susan Veldheer 11/22/2020

Interesting data from patients. It would also be interesting to hear what the providers think about your "action" statements. If you provided physicians with the patient comments and the "actions" I wonder what they would think. Very interesting!

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