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Airing Pain 72: Breaking the Barriers to Managing Pain

Why self-man­age­ment isn’t work­ing and what we can do about it

This edi­tion is part of a project fund­ed by the Health and Social Care Alliance.

We know that sup­port­ed self-man­age­ment reduces the impact of chron­ic pain on dai­ly life, but many peo­ple in pain feel they are not get­ting that sup­port from their GPs. Pain Concern’s research shows how sim­ple things like short appoint­ment times and long wait­ing lists for pain man­age­ment ser­vices com­bine with more com­plex prob­lems of com­mu­ni­ca­tion and cul­ture to ham­per self-management.

And it’s not only peo­ple in pain who are frus­trat­ed with the sys­tem – GP Dr Gra­ham Kramer out­lines the prob­lems with a med­ical approach that tries to fix prob­lems that can’t be fixed. That means a dif­fi­cult jour­ney towards accep­tance for peo­ple with pain and a trans­for­ma­tion in the way doc­tors inter­act with patients from being ‘par­ent’ to ‘coach’.

Issues cov­ered in this pro­gramme include: Pri­ma­ry and sec­ondary care, acces­si­bil­i­ty to health ser­vices, patient voice, patient expe­ri­ence, edu­cat­ing health­care pro­fes­sion­als, rais­ing aware­ness, cul­ture, pol­i­cy, wait­ing time, GP, com­mu­ni­ty health­care, sup­port group, focus group and com­mu­ni­cat­ing pain.


  • Katy Gor­don, Researcher, Pain Concern
  • Mar­tin Dun­bar, Clin­i­cal Lead, Glas­gow Pain Man­age­ment Programme
  • Gra­ham Kramer, Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment Clin­i­cal Lead for Self-man­age­ment and Health Literacy.

More infor­ma­tion:


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