For patients who are taking opioids for chronic pain, clinicians should have a comprehensive treatment plan. This plan should include an assessment of the patient's goals and preferences for care, pain relief, function, and quality of life as well as any comorbid conditions, concomitant medications, and risks and benefits of treatment options. In addition, clinicians should consider the patient's age, cultural background, and comorbid conditions. The plan should include other nonpharmacologic treatments such as physical therapy, acupuncture, cognitive behavioral therapy, and mind-body therapies. Although clinicians might consider prescribing opioids for some patients, it is not advisable to prescribe opioids solely for the relief of acute pain (4,5). To ensure that treatment guidelines are followed, clinicians should ask patients about the extent of their pain, their pain trajectory, their other symptoms, and their goals for treatment (1). Clinicians should use opioids responsibly and prescribe medications with caution (4,5).
Experts are responsible for defining the patient population for whom recommendations are made. The following guiding principles are applied: A) the target population should be large enough to provide enough data to determine the overall effectiveness of the intervention; B) the patient population should be representative of the general population (e.g., healthy, including multimorbid, or chronic conditions, including multimorbid patients); and C) the target population should be appropriate for the intervention, such as the elderly and the young. The target population is further defined by age, sex, race/ethnicity, and comorbidities ( 827ec27edc