Question checklist

Tuesday 1 September, 2015

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You may find this checklist helpful when thinking about the questions you want to ask your doctor about your pain and its treatment. If your doctor gives you answers that you don't understand, ask for clarification.

  • What is causing my pain?
  • Is the pain likely to get better or worse?
  • What treatments do you recommend and why?
  • How long will they take to work?
  • How often should I take my medicine?
  • Should I take extra doses if I still get pain?
  • Are there other options if the medicine doesn't work?
  • What are the possible side effects of the medicine?
  • How can the side effects be managed?
  • Who will manage my prescriptions?
  • Will the different medicines I'm taking interfere with each other?
  • Will I be able to drive when I'm taking this medicine?
  • Are there any precautions I need to take, such as not drinking alcohol?
  • Will I get addicted to my pain medicine?
  • How much will my medicine cost? Can I reduce the cost of it?
  • Can you tell me about non-medicine treatments?
  • Are there any complementary therapies that might help?
  • Will I keep seeing you about my pain relief, or will I see my GP or palliative care team?
  • Who can I contact in an emergency?
  • Who can I contact if I have questions about my pain levels or my medicines when I am at home?

Reviewed by: Dr Melanie Lovell, Clinical Ass Prof, Medicine, Northern Clinical School, Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney, and Palliative Medicine Consultant Physician, Greenwich Hospital, NSW; Nathaniel Alexander, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council NSW, NSW; Anne Booms, Palliative Care Nurse Practitioner, Canberra Hospital, ACT; Dr Roger Goucke, Consultant, Department of Pain Management, Specialist Pain Medicine Physician, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, and Clinical Ass Prof, School of Medicine and Pharmacology, University of Western Australia, WA; John Marane, Consumer; and Dr Jane Trinca, Director, Barbara Walker Centre for Pain Management, St Vincent’s Hospital, VIC.

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