For this National Pain Week, with the theme ‘Pain… Let’s talk about it’, NPS MedicineWise is releasing resources developed for Australians living with chronic pain.
An aim is to encourage people living with chronic pain to have conversations about their experiences and concerns with a range of health providers and others who can provide support.
Chronic pain is complex and can be difficult to treat,” says NPS MedicineWise. One in five Australians, including children and adolescents, live with chronic pain; in Australians aged 65 years or over this rises to one in three.
People who are actively engaged in self-management techniques report lower levels of pain-related disability, improvements in mood, better general health and reduced use of health services.
“It is important for people with chronic pain to be well informed and supported in ways that allow them to be actively involved in their own management,” says NPS MedicineWise Clinical Adviser Dr Andrew Boyden.
“Chronic pain can cause disruption to many aspects of people’s lives.
“However, an individual’s experience of pain is unique to them and being able to have good and open communication with their healthcare providers and other supporters is an important aspect of pain management.”
NPS MedicineWise says resources that can assist health professionals in talking about chronic pain and active self-management include:
- the free online Chronic Pain Communication Tool, which allows patients to create a personal summary of the issues they would like to talk about, link to chronic pain information, resources and tools, and use the personalised summary to start a conversation and keep track of progress;
- the My Pain Diary, which lets patients record how pain affects their daily activities and how medicines, other therapies and activities may be influencing their pain; and
- the Chronic Pain Knowledge Hub, where patients can find information on topics from what chronic pain is to the many strategies that can help manage it and improve function.