Title"The Pain Doesn't Have to Control You." A Qualitative Evaluation of Three Pain Clinics Teaching Nonopioid Pain Management Strategies.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2023
AuthorsBraverman, MT, Volmar, KM, Govier, DJ
JournalAm J Health Promot
Date Published02/2023

PURPOSE: To explore factors related to effectiveness of nonpharmacological treatment for opioid-dependent patients suffering with chronic pain.

APPROACH: A qualitative study incorporating individual interviews and focus group interviews.

SETTING: 3 rural Oregon nonopioid pain management clinics.

INTERVENTION: A 10-week nonpharmacological educational program incorporating cognitive-behavioral therapy, movement therapy, mindfulness, and other skills.

PARTICIPANTS AND METHODS: Across sites, we conducted 9 individual interviews with clinic staff and 3 focus group interviews with 34 patients who had participated in the course. Thematic analysis was used to identify themes within and across respondent groups.

RESULTS: Analysis revealed 4 primary themes: program goals; program benefits; characteristics of patients who benefit from the program; coordination of clinic experiences with other care. Several primary findings can be highlighted. The clinics focused on improving patients' quality of life, while opioid use reduction was a potential secondary benefit, driven by patients. Major program benefits included enhanced pain self-management skills, patients' greater assertiveness in communications with healthcare providers, and, in numerous cases, opioid use reduction. Participants were unanimous that predisposition toward active self-management of one's pain was an essential factor for positive outcomes. Patients reported considerable variability in providers' understanding of their clinic participation.

CONCLUSION: Nonpharmacological approaches for treating chronic pain can be effective for many patients. Clinics teaching these approaches should be more fully integrated into the healthcare system.

Alternate JournalAm J Health Promot
PubMed ID36053192