What do Darth Vader (Star Wars), the Joker (Batman), and Hannibal Lecter (Silence of the Lambs) have in common? They are famous villains in popular culture. But what makes them a villain? The villain may have many of the same characteristics as the protagonist, but they are believed to be misdirected. In many cases, pain patients and providers are made out to come across the same way. The patient–provider relationship is a key mediator between perceived helpfulness and patient satisfaction in pain management. The patient’s trust in their provider contributes to fulfillment and improved outcomes. Patients are also less likely to seek additional pain treatment if they feel their pain has been adequately addressed by their provider. In addition, we understand that pain and opioid management are communicative activities and this communication is sometimes challenging. Research has shown that patient–provider communication is central specifically in the opioid tapering process. Effective communication is one of the most important life skills, and, as providers, we don't usually put a lot of effort into this skill set or receive any training. It is important, therefore, for providers to improve these skills through communication training. During this course, the speaker will lead providers through a series of interactive techniques adapted from a client-centered approach, using motivational interviewing principles.
Describe the challenges faced in this therapeutic relationship in the pain management setting, specifically around opioid tapering
Discuss how effective communication leads to rewarding relationships and its effect on pain outcome
Identify ways to improve communication in the opioid tapering process