Shared Care Project Sees Enhanced Chronic Pain Support Locally

KBDOFP

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The Kootenay Boundary Division of Family Practice has launched new tools to support patients living with chronic pain, as well as their health care providers.

The Shared Care Chronic Pain Project saw community consultation with over 245 patients and 40 practitioners to develop one-stop-access to the most up-to-date resources and information.

Project Manager Katie Hill says managing chronic pain can be different than other conditions as it can be trickier to measure objectively, adding they heard from patients that they wanted to know their pain was taken seriously and they wanted to feel heard.

She says it’s also important for patients to understand that a lot of cases can depend on the individual and it can take some trial and error to find the right mix of remedies, so it was important the new toolkit reflect that same messaging.

Project Co-Lead and Family Physician Doctor Rodica Janz says chronic pain is different for everyone and there a lot of misconceptions, one being that we need to move away from the myth of simply going to a doctor to fix all of your pain.

Doctor Janz explains that a broader view with a multi-disciplinary team is most effective, where a physician is just one component of that team, with each piece of the pie being equally important in their own ways.

She adds that perhaps the biggest misconception in her experience is people believing they're out of options.

Hill hopes that by developing inventory for the Shared Care Project it may set the platform to start better connecting with health care professionals around the region, adding there is plenty of room to build on that to strengthen partnerships and collaboration.

The Bounce Radio Newsroom asked Patient Representative Lorraine Walton how she would further improve chronic pain supports locally, and she says so long as there are wait-lists there will always be room to grow.

Walton says one thing that can really hinder patients is having access to better healthcare whether chronic or acute, suggesting the area needs more physical and occupational therapists, as well as more specialists for chronic pain.

She says those with chronic pain visit doctor after doctor and therapist to therapist always working towards a solution, but patients need to start bettering themselves at the same time, by reading and understanding more about the condition.

Walton finds that in her 12 years of experience, it can be common for patients to become frustrated and feel like they’re not heard, adding she hopes this new tool-kit being introduced around region can be utilized by regular general practitioners to help get people the care they require.

The tools can be found here.