Module 3: Assessment

Lesson 1

Chronic pain: Goals of care

The goal of opioid therapy for chronic non-cancer pain is rarely to eliminate pain, but rather to reduce the pain intensity by at least 30% and to improve function (NOUGG, 2017).

It is important to ensure the patient’s expectations are realistic before starting opioid therapy by discussing and determining specific therapeutic goals related to pain reduction and functional improvement.

Agreed-on goals should be documented in the patient’s record; they are critical in determining that opioids are effective and should be monitored over time.