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Pain Management Doesn't have to be a Pain: Working and Communicating Effectively with Patients who have Chronic Pain

Christine E Whitten, MD; Christine M Evans, PhD ; Kristene Cristobal, MS

Spring 2005 - Volume 9 Number 2


More than 60 million Americans suffer from some type of persistent or recurrent pain sufficient to substantially affect their lives. 1 Although effective treatments are currently available, at least 40% of patients treated in the routine practice setting fail to achieve adequate relief from primary pain.2 In a recent survey of Kaiser Permanente (KP) members with various chronic conditions, patients with chronic pain fared the worst in terms of quality-of-life burden, diminished functional status, and lost productivity.3

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