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[Perspectives] Images and the dynamics of pain consultations

In a London National Health Service pain clinic, a patient (whom we will call Sarah) gave the clinician a series of cards, one by one. On each card is an image that was co-created by artist Deborah Padfield and patients with chronic pain to help represent patients’ experiences of pain (figure 1). When she was waiting for her consultation, Sarah had looked through a large pack of these pain cards and selected a few cards to take into the consultation with her. As Sarah handed one of the pain cards (figure 2) to the clinician, the following interaction took place: