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Papers of the Week

Papers: 24 Apr 2021 - 30 Apr 2021


Human Studies

2021 Mar 09


Barriers and facilitators to older adults’ use of nonpharmacologic approaches for chronic pain: a person-focused model.


Garrett SB, Nicosia F, Thompson N, Miaskowski C, Ritchie CS
Pain. 2021 Mar 09.
PMID: 33902095.


In the context of the opioid epidemic and the growing population of older adults living with chronic pain, clinicians are increasingly recommending nonpharmacologic approaches to patients as complements to or substitutes for pharmacologic treatments for pain. Currently, little is known about the factors that influence older adults' use of these approaches. We aimed to characterize the factors that hinder or support the use of nonpharmacologic approaches for pain management among older adults with multiple morbidities. We collected semistructured qualitative interview data from 25 older adults with multiple morbidities living with chronic pain for 6 months or more. Transcripts were coded to identify factors that hindered or supported participants' use of various nonpharmacologic approaches. We used the constant comparative method to develop a person-focused model of barriers and facilitators to participants' use of these approaches for chronic pain management. Participants described a wide range of factors that influenced their use of nonpharmacologic approaches. We grouped these factors into 3 person-focused domains: awareness of the nonpharmacologic approach as relevant to their chronic pain, appeal of the approach, and access to the approach. We propose and illustrate a conceptual model of barriers and facilitators to guide research and clinical care. This study identifies numerous factors that influence patients' use of nonpharmacologic approaches, some of which are not captured in existing research or routinely addressed in clinical practice. The person-centered model proposed may help to structure and support patient-clinician communication about nonpharmacologic approaches to chronic pain management.