16 June, 2021

Yarning about managing pain – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients and health professionals talk about their experience with chronic non-cancer pain and opioids

Living with pain can be challenging and everyone experiences pain in a unique way. Opioids are commonly used for pain management. However, their role in the management of chronic non-cancer pain is limited and the potential for harm, particularly with long-term use and with higher doses, is significant.

In the new Asking painful questions video series at nps.org.au/pain, Australians living with chronic non-cancer pain and health professionals experienced in pain management provide honest answers to questions about pain, opioids and other options for management.

The videos were developed with funding from the Therapeutic Goods Administration, Australian Government Department of Health and in collaboration with Consumers Health Forum of Australia (CHF) and National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO).

Deputy CEO NACCHO, Dr Dawn Casey said, “We aim to secure the best health outcomes for our people, providing a culturally safe healthcare experience. Ensuring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people use pain medicines, including opioids, safely and effectively is really important – sometimes these medicines can have big risks.

“Finding the best possible pain management option for our people can be challenging, especially considering when complex comorbidities. But our ACCHOs are best placed to understand the issues clients face and can provide overall health and wellbeing services that are culturally safe and meets clients’ needs, including pain management” 

Dr Casey further added, “The administration of effective and appropriate services provided by ACCHOs for managing pain is well demonstrated in

these videos.”

Lisa Briggs, CEO of Wathaurong Aboriginal Cooperative Limited, said, “Managing pain is a complex and important issue for our clients.  Chronic pain can be confronting and debilitating and sometimes unfairly stigmatised.

The videos in this project have really high

lighted these issues and the way that Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs) and culture are central to managing pain for many Aboriginal people. Through accessing holistic services and support through ACCHOs, such as Wathaurong, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have the best chance of managing their pain effectively.”

Watch the video of two Aboriginal men living wi

th pain, a pharmacist and a GP talk about their experiences with chronic non-cancer pain, opioids, non-medicines approaches and pain services.

Watch Yarning about managing pain:

Trailer: Asking Painful Questions – Chronic Pain and Opioids – https://youtu.be/N4ksSCmf3tU

Trailer: Asking Painful Questions – Rethinking Opioids in Chronic Non-Cancer Pain  https://youtu.be/5S8TjeclRhA