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Papers of the Week

2022 Feb




The Patient-Centered Approach in Rheumatologic Painful Diseases: A Narrative Review.


Perrot S, Montero Matamala A, Hanna M, Varrassi G
Cureus. 2022 Feb; 14(2):e22244.
PMID: 35340520.


A patient-centric approach to pain control represents a paradigm shift in analgesia and one that is both easy to endorse but challenging to execute. As pain mechanisms become increasingly elucidated, the understanding of pain has changed to encompass its complexities. Multiple types and mechanisms of pain have been described, and pain must be seen through the subjective experience of the patient. Earlier descriptions of pain based on intensity are one-dimensional and do not fully encompass the experience of pain. Thus, treating rheumatology patients or any patient in pain requires an understanding of the primary or secondary nature of the pain, underlying conditions, and patient factors such as anxiety, depression, fearfulness, and catastrophizing, all of which can shape and change the nature of the pain. Further, it is important to manage patient expectations concerning chronic pain as complete pain relief may not be possible, but a Patient Acceptable Symptomatic State (PASS) may serve. Functional goals are often more meaningful to patients than pain scores. Pharmacologic therapy for pain must consider side effects as well as analgesia. Patient-centered pain control requires a focus on wellness and disease prevention, personalized care plans, education, support for self-care, and may involve coordination across disciplines to help the patient meet personally meaningful objectives. While patient-centric care has become a buzzword in modern medicine, it is extremely relevant and may be very beneficial to pain patients.