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    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.

    About this paper

    Paper title Pain Assessment
    Subject Pain and Pain Management
    EFTS 0.1250
    Points 15 points
    Teaching period Semester 1 (Distance learning)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $1,578.88
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    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 21 279 1423

    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.


    Semester 1

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