Send to

Choose Destination
Pain Manag Nurs. 2004 Dec;5(4 Suppl 1):34-41.

Chronic neuropathic pain: issues in patient education.

Author information

William F. Connell School of Nursing, Boston College, 140 Commonwealth Avenue, Chestnut Hill, MA, USA.


Chronic neuropathic pain is difficult to diagnose and treat. For the patient, multiple aspects of his or her life may be altered, including physical, emotional, and spiritual health, as well as the ability to work, and family and social relationships. Successful treatment plans require more than just pharmacotherapy. Patients often need to receive a lot of information about complex regimens related to both pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic strategies. Additionally, patients with neuropathic pain need nursing support and guidance to help them master the self-management and coping skills required to minimize pain flares, while optimizing mood and functioning. A number of specific strategies are available based on the cognitive-behavioral model. These include the ability to interpret changes in pain in a helpful way, engagement in health promoting behaviors (including diet and exercise), and the development of an action plan for coping with pain exacerbations. A central element in this approach is to help patients become experts in understanding and managing their pain, then addressing the toll it has taken on their emotions, daily activities, and important relationships. Self-initiated techniques, such as relaxation, imagery, and hypnosis, can also be used to alter the subjective experience of pain. This article presents an overview of patient education approaches useful in the management of chronic pain.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center