So…who is the real enemy for people living with persistent pain? Opioid Medication or the Medical Model of Care?
Posted by PeteMoore 09/09/2017
So...who is the real enemy for people living with persistent pain? Opioid Medication or the Medical Model of Care?
It's a bit like a chicken and egg situation, which came first...?
For me it's the medical model, Medical Schools use to train Doctors and other Healthcare professionals. They mainly focus on treating a medical problem by either a treatment, procedure or signposting to another healthcare professionals.
Self-management of a pain and other long-term health condition isn't taught and for some healthcare professionals, it's something they learn on the job. Dr Chris Wells (past president of EFIC) highlighted this when we ran a recent workshop at the #EFIC2017 Congress in Copenhagen. He asked the audience of around 100 healthcare professionals to put their hand up, if they had been taught self-management skill when in training in Med School. I don't recall one hand going up.
So that brings us on to pain medication and the worldwide opioid problem.
There are three things going on here...
- The doctor/healthcare professional isn't versed in pain self-management, so they are unable to support the person with persistent pain.
- Even if they knew about self-management, many are not confident to promote self-management in timed based appointments
- Because there is a lack of pain self-management concepts in thier community (pain management programmes/workshops/courses etc) the doctor/healthcare professional is unable to signpost people to them.
The Pain Toolkit runs full or 1/2day workshops for doctors/healthcare professionals to learn some simple extra skills to help them support their patients in timed based appointments. More information here