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PAIN712 Pain Assessment

Clinical pain assessment in the context of New Zealand.

Clinicians need to understand the concepts of pain from a multifactorial perspective to assess the subjective experience of pain. 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 PAIN712
Subject Pain and Pain Management
EFTS 0.1250
Points 15 points
Teaching period Not offered in 2023, expected to be offered in 2024 (Distance learning)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,535.88
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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MSME 711
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.

Further information:

Administrator Client Services
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Musculoskeletal Medicine
University of Otago, Christchurch
PO Box 4345, Christchurch, New Zealand
Tel +64 3 378 6161

Teaching staff

Paper Co-ordinator: Dr Bronwyn Lennox Thompson

Paper Structure

PAIN 712 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.

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. Interprofessional teamwork will be enhanced.

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Not offered in 2023, expected to be offered in 2024

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