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MSME711 Pain Assessment

Clinical pain assessment in the context of New Zealand society: principles, procedures and physical resources. The economic and health effect of pain on the New Zealand workforce.

Assessing pain, which is a subjective experience, requires clinicians to understand the concepts of pain from a biopsychosocial perspective. This paper provides students with a strong grounding in a range of biomedical, functional and psychosocial approaches for assessing musculoskeletal pain problems.  Interprofessional teamwork is a fundamental aspect of this paper. The paper considers pain assessment integral to managing musculoskeletal problems and will enhance student's knowledge and confidence for managing the health problems of people experiencing pain.

Paper title Pain Assessment
Paper code MSME711
Subject Musculoskeletal Medicine
EFTS 0.125
Points 15 points
Teaching period Not offered in 2021, expected to be offered in 2022 (Distance learning)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,469.75
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $5,337.00

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Limited to
MHealSc, MPhty, PGCertHealSc, PGCertMSM, PGDipHealSc, PGDipMSM, PGDipPhty
Suitable for appropriately qualified allied health professionals, such as medical practitioners, nurses, occupational therapists, osteopaths, physiotherapists, etc.

Teaching staff
Co-ordinator: Dr Bronwyn Lennox Thompson
Paper Structure

MSME 711 consists of eight modules, taught sequentially, using both online resources and fortnightly teaching sessions.

Topics covered in this paper include modules on:

  • History and interview
  • Imaging and diagnostic approaches
  • Assessing risk factors in primary care
  • Disability assessment
  • Clinical pain measures
  • Formulation and documentation
  • Emerging issues
Teaching Arrangements
Material is delivered electronically and is distance taught. There are eight fortnightly online teaching sessions.

There is no single textbook for this paper. Readings will be provided for students to access via the Library, with additional readings and other multimedia material provided via Blackboard.

Useful electronic reference texts are available from the Library, such as Melzack and Wall's Textbook of Pain (2013) (6th Ed), Edited by McMahon, Koltzenburg, Tracey and Turk, published by Elsevier.

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Interdisciplinary perspective, Communication, Critical thinking, Ethics, Information literacy, Teamwork.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete the paper will have practical and clinically relevant knowledge of approaches to assess pain and the health conditions underlying pain. They will be familiar with evidence-based tools for assessing pain quality, location, intensity, and associated psychosocial constructs, including disability, that are considered important in the human experience of pain. Students will also develop skills in presenting relevant clinical assessment findings in a concise report format to medicolegal standards. Interprofessional teamwork will be enhanced.

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Not offered in 2021, expected to be offered in 2022

Teaching method
This paper is taught through Distance Learning
Learning management system