Choosing Wisely Canada (CWC) and Opioid Wisely

Choosing Wisely Canada is the national voice for reducing unnecessary tests and treatments in health care. Guidelines are published for most medical specialities as short bullet points listing what would be considered inappropriate interventions due to lack of supporting evidence, along with short notes about the rationale. CWC has developed a sub-campaign called Opioid Wisely, to ‘encourage thoughtful conversation between clinicians and patients to reduce harms associated with opioid prescribing’.

In 2018 the CSPCP formed a working group to review draft opioid guidelines for palliative care to submit to the CWC’s Opioid Wisely campaign. (The draft had been prepared by Dr. Teneille Gofton, Dr. Brian Kerley, and the CSPCP Board). The working group helped the Board finalize three recommendations for opioid prescribing for pain in Palliative Care and they were submitted to CWC. CWC did not accept them because their campaigns are about reducing unnecessary treatments, and the CSPCP recommendations are not about over-use. The working group and the Board are now investigating other ways to disseminate the recommendations, ideally in collaboration with national groups that are working on guidelines and educational materials for opioid prescribing. The guidelines will be shared as soon as a new course of action as been determined.

Other tasks for the working group include:

  • Reviewing and updating the general CWC recommendations, if warranted
  • Reviewing proposed recommendations from other specialty societies, from a palliative care lens


Committee Members:
Dr. Catriona Aparicio
Dr. Amit Arya
Dr. Shruti Gupta
Kim Taylor