The patient-provider relationship in chronic pain

Curr Pain Headache Rep. 2012 Apr;16(2):133-8. doi: 10.1007/s11916-012-0244-4.


The relationship between patient and provider has long been the subject of study within the psychotherapy literature, with the available data suggesting a modest, but reliable, association between the strength of this relationship and treatment outcome. Conversely, there has been little work focused on the patient-provider relationship in chronic pain settings despite the complexities and difficulties that are often involved in this area. This review provides a brief, broad overview of the literature on the patient-provider relationship and identifies key aspects that are specifically relevant to chronic pain settings. In addition to reviewing the literature in this area, a series of recommendations for future clinical and academic work are offered.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chronic Pain / psychology*
  • Chronic Pain / rehabilitation*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Meta-Analysis as Topic
  • Pain Measurement
  • Patient Satisfaction* / statistics & numerical data
  • Professional-Patient Relations*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Treatment Outcome