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Qualitative study—other
Patients are aware of risks of opioid dependence, yet note poor communication from providers about pain and pain management
  1. Danielle M McCarthy,
  2. Howard S Kim
  1. Department of Emergency Medicine, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois, US
  1. Correspondence to: Dr Danielle M McCarthy, Department of Emergency Medicine, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, 211 East Ontario, Suite #200, Chicago, IL 60611, USA; d-mccarthy2{at}

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Implications for practice and research

  • Nurses are in a position to educate patients about the safe use of opioids as well as improve coordination and communication among the healthcare team regarding pain management strategies.

  • Future research should focus on the role of nurses in delivering patient-centered interventions to improve communication about pain in acute care settings.


Emergency department (ED) providers are frequently faced with the dilemma of providing adequate pain relief while preventing the potential harms of opioids. In light of the increasing number of deaths related to opioid overdose, many different strategies are being promoted to curb opioid abuse and dependence. However, little is known about the patient's perspective on pain management strategies and the risk of opioid abuse and dependence. In …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.