Who accompanies patients to the chronic pain clinic?
Patients may be accompanied to the pain clinic consultation and these accompanying persons are relevant in the communication process.
We sought to characterize if patients were accompanied and by whom to the pain clinic. We also wished to determine the accompanying persons influence on the doctor–patient interaction. This has not been studied previously in this clinical setting.
Local ethics committee approval followed by written informed consent was obtained. Patients attending the pain clinic for the first time and review patients were included (n = 219).
Twenty-one percent of patients (n = 46) were accompanied. Adult accompanied by spouse 19 (41.3 %) and adult child accompanied by parent 18 (39.1 %) were the most common dyads. The accompanying person’s role was most frequently described by doctors as an advocate for the patient 30/46 (65.2 %) [for an adult accompanied by spouse (63.1 %)]. The influence of the main accompanying person on the patient doctor encounter was described as positive [adult accompanied by spouse (78.9 %)] [(adult accompanied by parent (94.4 %)].
Patients are accompanied to the pain clinic with a typically positive influence on doctor patient relationship and communication. Awareness of these issues is important in good communication in the pain clinic.
KeywordsPain clinic Accompanying persons Communication Doctor patient relationship
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