The use of opioid medications for the treatment of chronic non-cancer pain has risen dramatically in the past two decades. There are a number of risks associated with the long term use of opioids, most notably the potential for misuse. Successful opioid management strategies for chronic non-cancer pain depend upon effective patient-provider communication. Improving the communication between providers and patients about opioids has tremendous potential to improve opioid management and reduce opioid misuse.
The purpose of this pilot study is to evaluate how patients with chronic non-cancer pain and their physicians communicate about opioid management. The data from this pilot study will be used to guide further research on the mechanisms behind communication about opioid management and the design of an intervention to improve physician communication with patients with chronic non-cancer pain about opioid treatment.