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Question of the Day

How does one establish treatment goals before the initiation of opioid therapy?

It is absolutely essential to establish both treatment goals and expectations with the patient prior to initiating opioid therapy. These goals should be clearly laid out with the patient and should reflect pain relief AND an improvement in function. Function and activity can be evaluated based on the ability of the patient to participate in activities of daily living, recreational and social activities, and return to work. For patients with chronic pain, it is often unrealistic for patients to expect complete pain relief, but rather reducing their pain level enough to allow a more functional life. -- Authored by R. Jason Yong, MD MBA, Mohammed A. Issa, MD, Chris Abrecht, MD, Ehren Nelson, MD