Saturday, May 12, 2007

Surviving a loved one's chronic pain - A guide for family and friends of pain patients (David Kannerstein, PhD and Sarah M. Whitman, MD, Practical Pain Management, 2007)

This handout was inspired by a patient of mine who came
into my office and inquired what resources were available
for the family members of patients with pain to help
them understand what their loved ones were going through. He
discussed how his wife was frequently angry at him for not doing
more physically at home while she was at work and how she often
yelled at him. He felt guilty about it, but felt he did as much as
he could tolerate. I was embarrassed to admit that I did not
know of any handouts explicitly directed at spouses, family members,
and other loved ones. After doing some research on the
Internet, I discovered several very helpful publications, specifically
Julie Silver's 2004 book, Chronic Pain and the Family: A New
Guide (Harvard University Press) and the American Chronic Pain
Association family manual, ACPA Family Manual: A Manual for
Families of Persons with Pain, written by Penny Cowen (ACPA,
1998). I also found some helpful articles by Mark Grant, a psychologist
in Australia, especially his "Ten Tips for Communicating
With a Person Suffering From Chronic Pain," which is
available on his website, Mark was
kind enough to allow us to summarize his suggestions here. As
well, one of us (Whitman) has a website to help patients cope
with chronic pain, and occasionally discusses family issues on it
( Much of what is in this handout
is taken from these sources.

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