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Primary care management of moderate to severe pain


Primary care management of moderate to severe pain

Pain is one of the most common reasons why individuals consult healthcare practitioners in the UK. While many patients can be managed with simple analgesics, for those with moderate or severe pain, more powerful painkillers may be required. However, with intensification of analgesic regimens, the likelihood of side effects of treatment increases.This resource, consisting of ten assessment questions, tests your knowledge of the management of moderate to severe pain, together with the management of unwanted effects of commonly used analgesics. Complete the resource to obtain a certificate for one hour of continuing professional development to include in your annual portfolio.

Aims and objectives

  • A stepwise approach to moderate to severe pain management in line with the World Health Organisation (WHO) Analgesic Ladder
  • Types of pain and appropriate management approaches
  • Causes and management of opioid induced constipation

Further reading

NICE CG88 Low back pain http://www.nice.org.uk/nicemedia/live/11887/44345/44345.pdf

NICE CG96 Neuropathic pain – pharmacological management http://www.nice.org.uk/nicemedia/live/12948/47936/47936.pdf

Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network 106. Control of pain in adults with cancer. Quick reference guide http://www.sign.ac.uk/pdf/qrg106.pdf

Opioid-induced bowel dysfunction: prevalence, pathophysiology and burden http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1974804/

Practice Nurse featured articles 

Prescribing analgesics: a step by step approach Dr Mandy Fry

What you need to know before prescribing controlled drugs Stephanie Garner 

Opioid-induced Bowel Dysfunction Mandy Galloway, Rachel Booker

Further education and training 

Please follow the links below to relevant Education for Health courses 

Assessing and managing joint pain problems in primary care: the knee

Assessing and managing patients with joint pain (eLearning)

Date of preparation: April 2014

Review date: April 2015