Understanding Chronic Pain

  • Research type

    Research Study

  • Full title

    Understanding Chronic Pain-A qualitative study exploring patient and healthcare professionals experience with chronic pain management in primary care



  • Contact name

    Mandy Ryan

  • Contact email


  • Sponsor organisation

    University of Aberdeen

  • Duration of Study in the UK

    0 years, 3 months, 1 days

  • Research summary

    Chronic pain is a common problem among people in the UK. Analgesics are the main approach to chronic pain management. However, clinical experience and previous research suggest that chronic pain management is often sub-optimal. Pain is a highly subjective experience and also preference-sensitive. It is a personal choice for a person experiencing pain whether or not an analgesic is necessary. Therefore, it is important that patients with chronic pain have a say in their treatment and healthcare professionals (HCP) take into account patients’ opinions when deciding what to prescribe. However, such shared decision making is difficult to implement in practice due to time constraint during consultation, challenges in conveying health-related information to patients in an accessible format, different communication skills amongst HCPs, as well as difficulty in understanding patients’ preferences.
    Given these challenges, we proposed to develop a computer-based decision-aid tool (DAT) that could be used by HCPs when managing chronic pain in primary care. To do this, we will first collect the views of patients with chronic pain, and pharmacists and doctors involved in chronic pain management, to better understand the experiences surrounding the issue. This study will involve conducting interviews with chronic pain patients, pharmacists and doctors. The objectives of this study are to identify treatment options in the management of chronic pain; understand individuals’ expectations about treatment outcomes; understand how they make decisions about management of chronic pain; as well as define and characterise attributes that are important in the management of non-malignant chronic pain. The findings from this study will be used to inform development of the DAT.

  • REC name

    West Midlands - Edgbaston Research Ethics Committee

  • REC reference


  • Date of REC Opinion

    22 Nov 2018

  • REC opinion

    Favourable Opinion