Patients need to be informed that management of chronic pain is not targeted at finding a cure, in fact treatments are aimed at helping people deal and cope with pain more effectively. People are encouraged to set realistic goals, pace their strategies and plan their recovery. They should take responsibility for their own care.
Health care professionals have a strong urge to help people however it is acceptable in some cases to tell people that nothing further can be offered. In the interests of the person the GP should avoid increasing medication if there is clearly no benefit. It is important not to give false hope to people with ongoing investigations, treatment and referrals. There is an excellent shared decision-making toolkit that has been prepared by the All Wales Medicines Strategy Group and is available within the resources section of this module.