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This paper presents a critical appraisal of the potential of family resilience as a new model of care for chronic pain. For nurses, this model offers new strategies for working with families where a member experiences chronic pain. Chronic pain is characterised by one or more of the following: pain that lasts more than six months, from a non-life-threatening cause; and/or which is not responsive to available treatment. Chronic pain has the potential to be longstanding and difficult to treat and may result in negative outcomes for individuals and their families. However, a family resilience model of care moves the nurse from a traditional deficit base or problem-focused model of care to one which addresses the individual's and family's strengths. Strengths based models of care such as family resilience offer a fresh approach within Australia's developing agenda of primary health care. A family resilience or strengths based model of chronic pain has the potential to facilitate transformation and growth within families that will enable them to be more resourceful when facing immediate and long term challenges. Further research into the effectiveness of this approach to nursing care is required to develop specific implementation strategies for working with families experiencing chronic health conditions such as chronic pain.

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Journal Article

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