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Co-designing whānau stories to reduce opioid use for chronic pain in Aotearoa

48 months
Approved budget:
Dr Hemakumar Devan
Ms Cheryl Davies
Professor Lisa Te Morenga
Miss Eva Morunga
Dr Debbie Bean
Ms Susan Reid
Dr Jane Thomas
Dr Leinani Aiono-Le Tagaloa
Professor Tony Dowell
Professor James Stanley
Health issue:
Wellbeing (autonomy self-determination)
Proposal type:
Health Delivery Project
Lay summary
Chronic non-cancer pain is a public health burden affecting one in five New Zealanders. Opioids are commonly used for pain relief in chronic non-cancer pain and although beneficial in the short-term, long-term use risks include addiction and early mortality. While clinical guidelines recommend a gradual reduction in opioids (i.e. opioid tapering), both patients and clinicians find this tapering process challenging. There is no research on long-term opioid use and tapering processes for non-cancer pain management. With significant inequities for Māori, culturally responsive treatment strategies are urgently needed. Stories are simple, yet powerful tools to improve health behaviours and culturally appropriate pūrākau tools for Māori. This project has two aims: (1) to co-produce a story-based,whānau-focused opioid tapering intervention for people with chronic non-cancer pain, and (2) to evaluate the clinical implementation of this story-telling intervention in four tertiary pain services (Wellington, Auckland, Counties-Manukau and Waitemata) and four primary care practices.