Pharmacy in Scotland

Best Practice Case Study

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Pharmacy led mindfulness for pain

A pharmacist and trained mindfulness teacher is using a mindfulness led approach to support people living with chronic pain in NHS Dumfries and Galloway. Chronic pain is pain that carries on for more than 12 weeks despite medication or treatment. This can have a profound effect on people's quality of life.

The purpose of the course is to explore and assist participants' understanding of self-management of pain, providing options beyond medication.

One participant stated 'I feel I am in better control of my pain...I have nothing but praise for the course'.


Information regarding the mindfulness for pain course is circulated throughout the Health Board. Referrals are accepted via email from health care professionals such as GPs, pharmacists (primary care and community), rheumatology professionals and community link workers. Self-referrals from patients are also accepted. 

The course lasts for 8 weeks, with online attendance at a teacher-led weekly class for 1.5 hours.  After each session, participants put mindfulness into practice at home for about 30 minutes per day.

Mindfulness techniques are taught as a way of managing chronic pain, not eradicating pain. One participant stated: ‘I feel I am in better control of my pain....I have nothing but praise for the course. It was excellent.’ Another participant said, ‘I definitely feel more generally settled and I am keeping up with the exercises’. Regarding medication use, one participant stated: ‘I am not having to take as much’. 

All participants reported benefit to their management of pain.



Dr Emily Kennedy, Lead Cluster Pharmacist, Dumfries and Galloway

Email: [email protected]