Health Care Provider Toolkit

Change the conversation about pain

Are you frustrated with your patient interactions around pain care?


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As our nation struggles with a dual crisis of chronic pain and opioid overdose, all clinicians need better tools to talk about pain differently in a way that’s effective in helping and motivating their patients.

Providence Health and Services has created a pain education toolkit for the entire care team that makes the conversation easier, without lengthening appointments.

Providence Health & Services is pleased to announce that the following “Persistent Pain Toolkit” materials have been made available for you to use free of charge*.

Below are clinician teaching tools. Also view our patient videos and handouts ›

Clinician Teaching Aids

Designed to facility clinician discussions with patients to explain and reinforce key pain concepts.

Shared decision making tools: Based on stages of change theory

  • The big picture - Helps patients identify the personal aspects of their own pain story
  • Develop a plan - Help establish patient goals based on their own motivation

Other tools

  • Sleep and autonomic dysregulation tools
    • Healthy balance - Illustrates balance of autonomic nervous system function to promote sleep
    • Lack of balance - Illustrates effects of dysregulated autonomic nervous system
  • Pacing tool - Coach patients on safe return to activity
  • Phrasing - Sample recommended phrasing for discussing pain topics
  • Stress & pain response - Role of stress in pain experience and role of physiological quieting for pain reduction
  • Radiological findings and pain - Teaches limits of radiological findings in determining pain experience
  • Pain poster - Depicts key aspects of patient pain experience

See Patient Toolkit (videos and handouts)

* Providence Health & Services hereby grants you permission, free of charge, to use the materials above (the “Materials”) subject to the limitation that you are not permitted to modify, sublicense, re-publish, and/or sell the Materials without the express written permission of Providence Health & Services. All other rights in the Materials are reserved. For inquiries regarding use of the Materials, please contact:


A study of 81 Providence pain patients treated by clinicians using the Toolkit resources demonstrated decreased utilization of services.

Across all back pain-related services from (tracked from 2012 to 2014 using linear regression analysis):

  • Decrease of $297/patient case costs
  • Reduced rehab and in-patient costs
  • No change in back painrelated primary care costs
  • Decrease of 2.2 claims/patient1
Stern, Nora, MSPT; Weber, Louie; Van Wagner, Chris MPT; Niehus, Doug, MD; Halperin, Ruben, MD,MPH; Spinelli, Kateri, Ph.D; Wang, Lian, Ph.D; Cruz, Linda, MD; “Pain education in primary care and rehab services improves patient outcomes” Journal of Pain, April 2017Volume 18, Issue 4, Supplement, Page S50