Who accompanies patients to the chronic pain clinic?

Authors: Doltani D, Imran A, Saunders J, Harmon D


Ir J Med Sci. 2017 Feb;186(1):235-238

BACKGROUND: Patients may be accompanied to the pain clinic consultation and these accompanying persons are relevant in the communication process.
AIMS: We sought to characterize if patients were accompanied and by whom to the pain clinic. We also wished to determine the accompanying persons influence on the doctor-patient interaction. This has not been studied previously in this clinical setting.
METHODS: Local ethics committee approval followed by written informed consent was obtained. Patients attending the pain clinic for the first time and review patients were included (n = 219).
RESULTS: Twenty-one percent of patients (n = 46) were accompanied. Adult accompanied by spouse 19 (41.3 %) and adult child accompanied by parent 18 (39.1 %) were the most common dyads. The accompanying person's role was most frequently described by doctors as an advocate for the patient 30/46 (65.2 %) [for an adult accompanied by spouse (63.1 %)]. The influence of the main accompanying person on the patient doctor encounter was described as positive [adult accompanied by spouse (78.9 %)] [(adult accompanied by parent (94.4 %)].
CONCLUSIONS: Patients are accompanied to the pain clinic with a typically positive influence on doctor patient relationship and communication. Awareness of these issues is important in good communication in the pain clinic.



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