Table 4.

Patients' Perspectives on Pain and Opioid Management

Patient Perspectives
Theme: Patients sense that providers are rushed
“Some providers actually care about what's wrong with a person. My new provider is like… I think he's overwhelmed with how many patients he has, but at the same time he still tries to listen to you. [He] doesn't just go, ‘Here you go, here's your [opioid], go, bye.’ You know, he does pay attention but I think he's really overwhelmed… you can just see it in his face.”
Theme: Continuity is important for pain and opioid management
“Every time I came to the clinic, it was always a new doctor. So, I would always have to explain my story all over again to a new doctor…. [My current clinician] said that she would take me. And so ever since then [my clinician] got me off of all my medicine… and I'm actually getting [better]… But with [the other doctors] I never got medicine [opioids], I got medicine twice and they're like, ‘Here, just take a couple,’ and that would be it. But for me it wasn't just, ‘Give me medicine to make the pain go away.’ I want help to make sure if there's something that they can do to make the pain go away without medicine. That's what me and [my clinician] are trying to figure out right now.”
Theme: Patients feel stigmatized and burdened by time-intensive monitoring requirements
“[If] the doctor know [sic] my background and I have chronic pains… I feel like [the clinicians] should call my meds in, I shouldn't have to come up there and get a prescription… I feel like that because it don't make no sense. It's basically you're going in there without an appointment but it seems like it is appointment because you have to sit in there and you have to actually wait to get it and you're not going in the back [to a clinic room]… So, you won't be able to say nothing to that doctor or anything, [and] you come back two weeks later to come to the doctor. I feel like they need to better up on, on serious people that really, really have chronic pain.”