Article Text

  1. A. E. Warner1
  1. 1University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA.


Purpose of Study Chronic pain afflicts an estimated 75 million people a year in the United States. A community project was developed to address patient education about chronic pain at a community clinic catering to Latinos and low-income patients.

Methods Used Using the community-oriented primary care (COPC) method, practice information was gathered from clinic providers and professional literature. The concerns and issues of chronic pain patients were solicited.

Summary of Results A brochure on chronic pain was designed and made available in English and Spanish where previously no educational material existed. The key points of the brochure were definition of chronic pain, treatment options at this clinic, and additional resources for the patients. A literature review was performed to determine the effectiveness of chronic pain patient education material. The review revealed that there is little information available on the use of patient educational material as a resource for chronic pain patients.

Conclusions Reached The brochure had three main objectives: to provide physicians and patients with a starting point to begin discussion of treatment strategies; to show patients that there are a number of non-narcotic-based treatments for chronic pain; and to validate for patients that their pain is real and treatment options exist. Meeting these objectives will ideally increase patient and physician satisfaction and improve the quality of care for chronic pain. However, more work is needed to properly evaluate the effectiveness of chronic pain patient education material.

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