Pain management by the family physician: The family practice pain education project

Edward T. Bope, Alan B. Douglass, Alan Gibovsky, Tanya Jones, Laeth Nasir, Trish Palmer, Sunil Panchal, Francine Rainone, Peter Rives, Knox Todd, James D. Toombs

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

8 Scopus citations


Pain is a common complaint of patients who visit a family physician, and its appropriate management is a medical mandate. The fundamental principles for pain management are: placing the patient at the center of care; adequately assessing and quantifying pain; treating pain adequately; maximizing function; accounting for culture and gender differences; identifying red and yellow flags early; understanding and differentiating tolerance, dependence and addiction; minimizing side effects; and being familiar with and using CAM therapies when good evidence of efficacy exists. The pharmacologic management of pain requires thorough knowledge of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, cyclo-oxygenase-2-specific inhibitors, and opioids. A table of equianalgesic dosages is useful because patients may need to move from one opioid to another. Accompanying this article are papers discussing 5 common pain disorders seen by family physicians, including: neck pain, low back pain, joint pain, pelvic pain, and cancer/end of life pain. The family physician who learns these principles of pain management and the algorithms for these common pain disorders can serve patients well.

Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Journal of the American Board of Family Practice / American Board of Family Practice
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2004
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Family Practice

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