Flip the Script Campaign Launches to Start the Conversation About Pain Among Older Adults

Share Article

FSU Department of Geriatrics and USF School of Aging Studies launch a campaign focused on education surrounding pain awareness, pain management, and safe use, storage and disposal of pain medicines.

Flip the Script on Pain logo

Flip the Script is an education initiative aimed at reducing opioid prescription misuse in older adults by building a greater understanding of pain, options for managing pain and safely using opioid pain medicine.

The Florida State University College of Medicine, Department of Geriatrics (FSU Department of Geriatrics) and the University of South Florida School of Aging Studies & Florida Policy Exchange Center on Aging (USF School of Aging Studies) announce the launch of a public information campaign to ‘flip the script’ on how Florida’s older adults think about and talk about pain.

Flip the Script is a multi-channel education initiative aimed at reducing opioid prescription misuse in older adults by building a greater understanding of pain, options for managing pain and safely using opioid pain medicine, when it is determined that opioids are the best treatment option for an individual patient.

“Chronic pain conditions are more prevalent for individuals 65 years old and older, with more than half of older adults indicating they’ve experienced some type of pain within the past 30 days,” said Dr. Lisa J. Granville, Professor of Geriatrics and Associate Chair of the Department of Geriatrics, Florida State University College of Medicine. “Pain isn’t just a part of growing older and shouldn’t hinder someone from doing the activities they enjoy the most. The heart of Flip the Script is helping people continue to do the things they love by understanding the individuality of their pain and the options for managing pain based on what matters most to them.”

Flip the Script was developed to help people:

  • Learn More about the types of pain and the impact of pain
  • Be Prepared to describe and track the pain they feel
  • Take Action to find relief and better manage pain by initiating conversations with a health care provider about their pain and ultimately share in the decision-making about how to treat pain

The campaign provides older adults and their care partners with resources, checklists and questions to help start conversations with a doctor, nurse, pharmacist or other health care professional about pain.

“Everyone reacts to pain differently,” said Kathryn Hyer, Ph.D. MPP, Professor and Director, Florida Policy Exchange Center on Aging at the University of South Florida. “Flip the Script is one of the first education campaigns that encourages people to take a whole-body approach to reduce the physical and emotional symptoms of pain. By understanding pain, the emotions that are associated with feeling pain and the variety of options available to treat pain, patients can feel empowered to start conversations with a health care provider and work toward an individualized approach to pain management.”

The opioid epidemic in the United States is a far-reaching and life-threatening problem that affects persons of all ages. For older adults, there are several factors that can contribute to opioid-related problems including conditions that may cause chronic pain, taking multiple medications, lack of understanding about medication interaction and serious side effects, including overdose, and the shame of substance misuse or addiction.

To educate Floridians about these topics, Flip the Script also includes information about pain medicine misuse among older adults, safe storage and disposal.

The FSU Department of Geriatrics and USF School of Aging Studies recognize that creating a broader awareness among older adults of the complexities of pain cannot be accomplished in a silo. The teams are grateful for the collaboration of state agencies, health care providers, community organizations and older adults themselves to ensure Flip the Script is an educational and useful resource for Florida’s older adults, their families, friends and health care providers.    

Learn more about Flip the Script by visiting http://www.FlipTheScriptOnPain.org.

About Flip the Script
Flip the Script provides resources to help people learn more about the types of pain and the impact of pain; be prepared to describe and track the pain they feel; and take action to find relief and better manage pain by initiating conversations with a health care provider about their pain and ultimately share in the decision-making about how to treat pain.

This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Both universities were eligible to receive a competitive, supplemental award to enhance current Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program activities. The supplemental award required funded organizations to focus on opioid abuse education and training that addresses prevention, assessment, management and treatment in older adults.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Jamie Fortune
Visit website