Providence Launches Toolbox for Clinicians to Help Patients Manage Persistent Pain Without Opioids

November 11, 2016

The flood of opioid misuse and new guidelines aimed at reducing prescriptions for pain killers have created a dilemma for clinicians. How do you help patients understand and manage their persistent pain without opioids? It’s a big challenge. According to the Oregon Health Authority, 20 percent of Oregonians live with persistent, or chronic, pain. 

To help clinicians educate patients and develop alternative strategies for managing persistent pain, Providence Health & Services has created The Persistent Pain Toolkit.

 “As we learn more about how pain works, we’re also discovering that there are many things people can do to improve pain and get back to the important things in their lives, often without pain medications,” said Nora Stern, PT, program manager, Persistent Pain Project, Providence Heath & Services. “Adopting a new language that clinicians can use with patients when they are talking about pain is an important step. This includes changing the language to decrease the “threat” associated with pain; returning to activity; the role of emotions and stress; and the relative significance of test results and findings in the overall pain experience.”

“Providence has been at the forefront of this approach to pain and we are pleased to offer these valuable tools to coordinated care organizations, rehab clinics, behavioral health practices and other health care organizations that care for patients with persistent pain,” said Linda Cruz, M.D., medical director, Providence Medical Group, West.

The Persistent Pain Toolkit includes clinician training and teaching aides, patient-facing videos and online classes. Clinicians learn to use the tools using real patient scenarios. Follow-up consultation and case study reviews are also available.