SIP Portugal Develops an Interactive Manual and a Guide for First Chronic Pain Consultation
Health illiteracy is the main problem in patient-clinician communication, and can for sure result in difficulties in best clinical practices. Chronic pain patients are prone to high levels of illiteracy, as they are usually older, suffer from sleep deprivation, depression and anxiety and may have some degree of cognitive impairment due to polymedication and drug interaction of pain medication.
Quite frequently chronic pain patients have neither reflected about the course of their pain history, nor on the impact of their pain in their daily life when attending first pain consultations. As a result, clinicians may be put in stress due to a lack of valuable information and the shorter times of consultation, imposed by health policies. A combination of both can contribute to disappointed patients and poor clinical outcomes.
As the first pain medical consultation can be very complex and time consuming both for patients and clinicians, SIP Portugal has prepared and will release in 2022, an interactive manual. The tool will be published on their website and its main goal is to prepare patients for the first chronic pain consultation. Patients may consult it in advance, and receive some important tips, such as understating how they should prepare for such a consultation, what should they take with them and teaching them how to reflect on their pain and the impact it has on their lives. Additionally, the empowerment of patients and understanding the importance of adhering to the management proposed is also captured.
SIP Portugal believes that this interactive manual for first chronic pain consultation, will allow clinicians to better diagnose, decide which exams to run and which treatment to follow, as well as suggest personalised management for their patients. As for the patients, the centre of this initiative, improved health literacy and self-knowledge will allow a better adherence to a multidimensional plan, which will lead to better clinical outcomes and greater satisfaction.