Tag Archives: patients

Educating Patients About Pain Medications

Educating Patients About Pain Medications – Practical Pain Management – Last updated on: October 28, 2014

Former US Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, MD, famously said, “Drugs don’t work in patients who don’t take them.” Medications also don’t work in, and can even harm, patients who don’t take them as intended.

In a meta-analysis of research studying medication adherence and treatment outcomes, nonadherence accounted for 33% of hospital admissions for adverse drug events. 

Nonadherence to an analgesic regimen could result in untreated pain or adverse events, which can cause decreased productivity and increased employee absences. Poor provider– patient communication has been identified as a barrier to adherence.   Continue reading

Clinicians Should Never Disrespect Patients

Clinicians Should Never Disrespect Patients | October 14, 2015

I recently read a piece in a prominent journal about the ongoing problem of providers mocking their patients during surgical procedures. It was really troubling, and I think it highlights a common disconnect between providers and patients.

we’re all at risk of putting our own concerns and interests front and center and seeing the patient as little more than an annoyance.

There are endless examples of this, including the language clinicians use to describe patients in charting and documentation. We routinely accuse patients of being “non-compliant.” If a patient says that they don’t have a headache, we say “patient denies headache,” as though they are testifying in a court of law and we are suspicious of their motives and truthfulness.   Continue reading

A Letter to Patients With Chronic Disease

A Letter to Patients With Chronic Disease by Dr. Rob Lamberts

This is a re-post of a wonderful essay from a few years ago that delves into the reasons for the lack of understanding and empathy between doctors and their patients with chronic illness.

Dr. Lamerts gives good advice for how we pain patients can approach our doctors to get them on our side, instead of alienating them.

Dear Patients: You have it very hard, much harder than most people understand.  Having sat for 16 years listening to the stories, seeing the tiredness in your eyes, hearing you try to describe the indescribable, I have come to understand that I too can’t understand what your lives are like.  Continue reading

Tips on medical advocacy

“What might they be interested in learning from me?” Tips on medical advocacy | Standford Scope Blog

Many people throughout the years have asked me why I became an advocate, and my answer is found in what was a perfect storm of several factors.

One large one was losing my ability to work in the executive career

This loss, coupled with having to navigate the social security disability system and the back-and-forth with my private disability insurance company, made my overall health (both physical and mental) much worse   Continue reading

NIH: More than 1 in 10 American adults have chronic pain

NIH: More than 1 in 10 American adults experience chronic pain – The Washington Post

America is a nation in pain, according to a new analysis by researchers at the National Institutes of Health. [NIH report is included at end of post]

The analysis, published in the Journal of Pain, is based on data from the 2012 National Health Interview Survey, an annual undertaking that asks thousands of Americans about their health- and illness-related experiences. The survey quizzed people about the frequency and intensity of pain they had experienced during the prior three months.

Among the other findings that emerged: Adults grappling with higher levels of pain, perhaps not surprisingly, tend to have worse overall health, use more health care resources and suffer from more disabilities  Continue reading

Tips for treating patients suffering from chronic pain

Tips for treating patients suffering from chronic pain

This doctor seems to understand chronic pain and has some good ideas about how to interact with and help his pain patients.

Patients in chronic pain are usually angry.

They are trapped by a very unpleasant physical sensation, and it’s easy for them to feel (sometimes rightly) that friends, family, employers, and even physicians don’t understand or believe them.

They are offered endless treatments, few of which have proven to be effective, meaning their hopes are regularly dashed.

Here’s what you can do.   Continue reading

Patients ARE Qualified to Yelp Doctors!

Sorry, Patients ARE Qualified to Yelp Doctors! | THCB

An opinion piece written by Niam Yaraghi  (@niamyaraghi) titled,Don’t Yelp Your Doctor” discusseswhether or not patients are capable or qualified to evaluate their physicians.

Niam writes:

“Patients are neither qualified nor capable of evaluating the quality of the medical services that they receive.”

The author of this article does not agree:  Continue reading

Pain patients struggle after drug raid shuts down clinic

Pain patients struggle after drug raid shuts down Florence physician

Last year, Dr. Chris Christensen’s “cash-only” clinic was raided by federal drug agents armed with a search warrant alleging he had over-prescribed massive amounts of pain pills to his patients.His highly publicized case has helped add a new layer of scrutiny to the challenging issue of properly managing prescription medications.

Gary Snook is a 62-year-old Bitterroot Valley man who has never found himself on the wrong side of the law. And yet almost every time that he goes into a pharmacy to pick up the opiates he desperately needs to keep his horrific pain at bay, he feels like a criminal.

Snook suffers from a relatively unknown malady called adhesive arachnoiditis that causes unbearable chronic pain.Ironically, it struck after physicians applied a series of steroid epidurals to his back in an effort to quell the pain he suffered following surgery for a bulging disk.  Continue reading

Pain Care is Legal – What Can I Do?

Pain Care is Legal – Home

There is a war on pain patients, by the DEA, currently under way in this country. The DEA has become so overzealous in their crusade against narcotic pain relievers that they are harming the very people that this medicine was designed to help.

This website is a call to action.  I want everyone that struggles to find doctors, pharmacists, and prescriptions to stand up and do something about it.  If we do not fight this issue together we will lose it alone…. and in pain.

Below ere is are instructions for protesting from: http://www.paincareislegal.com/what-can-i-do

Call the DEA

Continue reading

Making a Comment on the National Pain Strategy

Make a Public Comment on the National Pain Strategy by Celeste Cooper | from http://www.celestecooper.com/

Here’s an example of excellent comments to give you an idea of what to write:

To whom it may concern:

I agree that collaboration between primary and pain specialists is helpful in some cases, though I do not believe it is mandatory, and this is why.

  • Many pain specialists are only interested in interventional care.
  • Monthly visits for the pain patient who uses a non-escalated dose of opioids over a period of years, for instance, is time consuming and costly to the patient and society.
  • Forcing patients into a chronic pain program that have not had any red flags, are not a safety risk, could create perceived stigma where there was none.
  • To think that a primary physician cannot complete continuing education courses for management of mild to moderate chronic pain is ridiculous.
  • Primary physicians are on the front lines. They will be held accountable for prevention strategies, but they aren’t able to make assessments for treating pain? This seems like tying their hands behind their backs. Board certified family physicians should not be segregated from treating uncomplicated chronic pain independently. Who is better trained in meeting the biopsychosocial needs of a patient?

Certainly, complicated chronic pain should be under the supervision of a pain specialist, however not all patients meet this criteria, and not all pain specialists take a biopsychosocial approach. It would be interesting to have the data on this and I am grateful you are doing just that.  Continue reading