All in the Family: Their Role and Impact on Pain Management

About 43% of households have at least 1 person with chronic pain, and that pain affects all members of the family, plus caregivers and/or significant others. It can demoralize and depress both patient and family, especially when there is no effective pain control and no hope for relief. Family can have a role in maintaining the pain, and should be included in pain assessment and treatment of pain. Family members must not only recognize and overcome obstacles that may occur when communicating with chronic pain patients, but also must deal with their own pain and stress. Addressing emotions with support groups, family therapy, or individual therapy can strengthen the family and the individual, as well as reduce the suffering of all involved. It is important for frontline practitioners to consider not only the person who is suffering in front of them, but the people behind the patient.

Learning Objectives

  • Describe ways in which family members and caregivers can have a positive and negative effect on pain management.
  • Describe the emotional needs of family members with support groups, family therapy, or individual therapy.
  • Cite the ways in which family members can help their loved ones with their care plans while still maintaining the goal of autonomy.

Additional Information

Tarsus Medical Education
State Relevance: 
Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 1.00 AANP Contact Hours
  • 1.00 ACPE Pharmacy
  • 1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit
  • 1.00 ANCC
  • 1.00 APA
Course opens: 
Course expires: 

David Cosio, PhD, ABPP


Jesse Brown VA Medical Center

Chicago, IL


Dr. Cosio is speaking today based on his experiences as a psychologist employed by the Veterans Administration. He is not speaking as a representatives of or as an agent of the VA, and the views expressed are his own. Nothing to disclose.


  • 1.00 AANP
  • 1.00 ACCME (All Other)
  • 1.00 ACCME (MD/DO Only)
  • 1.00 ACPE Pharmacy
  • 1.00 ANCC
  • 1.00 APA

Available Credit

  • 1.00 AANP Contact Hours
  • 1.00 ACPE Pharmacy
  • 1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit
  • 1.00 ANCC
  • 1.00 APA
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