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ER Docs and Chronic Pain Patients Clash

When chronic pain gets so bad that patients head to the emergency room for treatment, many of them leave the ER in pain and angry. Patients feel that they have been ignored, reprimanded, dismissed and degraded. A preliminary study on how how ER docs and nurses think about and treat pain patients appeared in the February issue of Clinical Psychiatry News. The basic finding is that patients and providers often butt heads.

“Patients were more likely than providers to believe that chronic pain has little chance of improving, and to think that providers don’t believe pain complaints if they lack physical or objective findings. Patients strongly disagreed that they were addicted to their pain medications, and providers were more ambivalent about patients’ potential addictions. Patients feared the risk of dependence on opioids more so than did the providers.”

Study Probes Care of Chronic Pain Patients Among Emergency Physicians

(via Tick Tock from the BrainTalk Headache forum)

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