Pain is experienced by almost all patients regardless of age or sex. Virtually all health professionals help patients who are experiencing pain, and physicians, nurses, therapists, psychologists, pharmacists and social workers can specialize in pain management. Thus, no single discipline completely understands pain, and how or why it manifests in individual patients. To provide comprehensive team-based care, professionals must understand the limits of their own expertise, while gaining insight from and an appreciation for that of other disciplines. This requires health professionals to collaborate to better assess, understand and manage patients with complex pain. By working together for the common goal of developing an effective, safe, comprehensive patient-centered treatment plan, patients with pain who don’t respond to usual treatments can have more positive outcomes.
The goal of this interprofessional pain management continuing education program is to ensure that health professionals, regardless of discipline, appreciate the potential complexities of pain and their duty to assess pain, and to work together as a patient-centered team to better understand and relieve pain. It will lay the foundation for personalized pain treatment by guiding the professional to conduct an accurate pain assessment; provide an overview of best practice for developing a pain treatment plan, taking into account varying pain characteristics, factors that affect pain and the importance of a team-based approach; provide an evidence-based, balanced update on safe effective analgesia; and to ensure that healthcare professionals, regardless of discipline, appreciate the potential variety of nondrug options available to treat pain. It also describes a best-practice approach of refining a pain treatment plan that has failed to meet a patient’s comfort needs. After studying the information presented here, you will be able to:
- Describe the harms of uncontrolled pain, including the development of chronic pain
- Delineate the patient’s right to have pain assessed and managed to the extent possible given the scope of services provided
- List three roles and responsibilities of the IP team to provide ethical treatment of pain
- Explain why pain assessment is essential for safe, effective treatment of pain
- List different types of pain based on nature, location, duration and intensity
- Determine the best pain assessment tool capable of quantifying the amount of pain experienced based on the patient’s age and ability to communicate
- Compare and contrast the appropriateness of selecting validated one-dimensional versus multidimensional methods to assess pain for particular settings and populations
- Describe how pre-administration pain assessment differs from reassessment of pain after an analgesic is given
- Describe a collaborative care approach to developing a pain treatment plan based on evidence-based guidelines given the specific type of pain
- Select appropriate therapies based on individual risk factors and comorbidities
- Refine treatment plans in patients with complex needs based on responses, coping methods, values and shared goals
- Discuss the principles of safe, effective use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and adjuvant pain relievers
- Describe the mechanism of action of at least three classes of adjuvant pain relievers
- List three principles of safe, effective use of opioid analgesics, including required vigilant monitoring
- Identify at least three nondrug pain relief options that can be integrated into current practice and three available by referral
- Distinguish the mechanisms by which physical modalities differ from cognitive-behavioral methods of controlling pain
- Describe how multimodal therapy using an IP team-based approach best reduces pain and improves function
- Refine treatment plans for patients with complex needs
- Describe triggers to expanding the treatment team and modalities used to refine the treatment plan
- Identify goals used to determine the safety and efficacy of a pain treatment plan
This course is intended for an interprofessional audience, including nurses, audiologists, imaging and radiation therapists, massage therapists, occupational therapists, pharmacists, physical therapists, respiratory therapists, and speech-language pathologists.
Audiologists and speech-language pathologists: Take this version of the course to ensure you receive appropriate credit.
This course is offered for 0.45 ASHA CEUs (Intermediate level, Related area).
Paul Arnstein, PhD, RN, FAAN, is the clinical nurse specialist for pain relief at Massachusetts General Hospital and adjunct associate professor at the MGH Institute for Health Professionals in Boston. Dr. Arnstein discloses that he receives consulting fees as a member of the clinical advisory board and consultant panels for AstraZeneca, Janssen, Purdue Pharma, Hospira (now part of Pfizer), and Mallinckrodt. Dr. Arnstein has no relevant nonfinancial relationships to disclose that related to this education activity.
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Unless stated above, the planners and authors of this course have declared no relevant conflicts of interest that relate to this educational activity. OnCourse Learning guarantees this educational activity is free from bias.
Please see CE Course Instructions to learn how to earn CE credit for this module.