Course Overview

Brief

This Course explores evidence-based guidelines for pain management and includes information on acute, chronic and post-surgical pharmacological pain relief using a multidisciplinary approach.

Learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the pharmacology of analgesics in order to facilitate safe and effective pain relief for patients
  • Apply current knowledge of non-opioid analgesics for the safe administration of these medicines
  • Choose an appropriate opioid analgesic based on your assessment to facilitate best practice pain management
  • Use knowledge about alternative therapies for pain management to guide patients in their pain management plan

Topics include:

  • Non-opioid analgesics
  • Opioid analgesics
  • Other therapies for pain management

Target audience

Health professionals who regularly administer medicines and care for those with pain.

Purpose

Provide a review of pharmacological options and their uses for effective relief of acute or chronic pain.

Need

About 20% of Australians suffer chronic pain, and this will increase as the population ages. In up to 5% (or about one million people), the pain has a significant impact on function and quality of life. Australia’s multidisciplinary pain clinics cannot see this number of patients. Therefore, much of the load for managing people with chronic pain falls on general practitioners (GPs), pharmacists and nurses.
Optimal management involves both non-pharmacological and pharmacological approaches that focus on preventing disease and stopping progression, as opposed to just targeting palliation of disease. There have been many adverse events (including drug interactions) reported with many analgesics, as well as underuse and overuse of analgesia, resulting in changes to guidelines.

Health professionals in Australia that are registered with AHPRA are required to obtain continuing professional development (CPD) hours/points each year that relates to their context of practice, in order to comply with mandatory regulatory requirements.

Educators