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MSME708 Introduction to Pain Management

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Current understanding of the best practice principles for the management and treatment of all forms of musculoskeletal pain and dysfunction, including modern psychosocial approaches to pain therapy.

Treating pain is different from most other health problems because unlike other health problems such as hypertension or diabetes, there are no objective markers reflecting the experience of pain. It is subjective. Many factors influence individuals' experience of pain and their response to treatment. This paper provides a solid foundation for clinicians to understand treatments used for pain beginning with assessment and case formulation and providing an appropriate intervention and monitoring treatment outcomes. The paper will provide students with the opportunity to understand interdisciplinary/interprofessional contributions to pain management and to integrate a biopsychosocial perspective.

Paper title Introduction to Pain Management
Paper code MSME708
Subject Musculoskeletal Medicine
EFTS 0.125
Points 15 points
Teaching period Second Semester (Distance learning)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,469.75
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $5,337.00

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MSMX 708
Limited to
MHealSc, MPhty, PGCertHealSc, PGCertMSM, PGDipHealSc, PGDipMSM, PGDipPhty
Suitable for appropriately qualified allied health professionals such as medical practitioners, nurses, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, osteopaths, etc.

Note: This paper is a pre-requisite for PAIN 702 Biomedical Pain Management and PAIN 703 Psychosocial and Cultural Aspects of Pain.

Teaching staff

Paper Coordinator: Louise Sheppard

Paper Structure
MSME 708 consists of eight modules taught using both online resources and online teaching sessions.

The eight modules cover assessment, case formulation, outcome measurement, factors confounding treatments and outcome measurement, psychological, functional, pharmacological and injection treatments for acute and chronic pain, and emerging treatments.
Teaching Arrangements
Material is provided electronically via Blackboard. Discussions are held fortnightly using Zoom Videoconferencing. Students are encouraged to interact via online discussion.
"Pain - A Textbook for Health Professionals" 2nd edition (2014) by Hubert van Griensven, Jenny Strong and Anita M.Unruh. Published by Churchill Livingstone. Available from Amazon, The Book Depository or the publishers directly
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Critical thinking, Ethics, Information literacy.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

At the completion of this paper, students will have a comprehensive introduction to pain management approaches used in both acute and chronic pain. An interprofessional approach is encouraged. Students who successfully complete the paper will be able to answer the two key clinical questions of:

  1. Why is this person presenting in this way at this time?
  2. What can be done to reduce this person's distress and disability?

A systematic approach to clinical reasoning is used, and students become familiar with the contributions of a range of health professionals while focusing on treatments with a sound evidence base.

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Second Semester

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