Small Group Programme Topic 1 – Persistent Pain

A Summary

Presentation: View the Persistent Pain presentation (PDF)

About the topic

Pain is an output from the brain secondary to interpretation of sensory input. Persistent pain is thus influenced by context: multiple biopsychosocial factors affect immune and stress responses altering the experience of pain. Osteoarthritis (OA) is an example of persistent pain that is affected by the ‘whole person condition’. Consideration of factors that modulate inflammatory processes, tissue sensitivities and behavioural responses is necessary.

Management of OA can be improved by holistic collaboration with the patient and the primary health care team. This includes minimising iatrogenic harm by avoiding the use of words that have negative connotations and by prudent use of imaging to avoid sending patients on a negative trajectory e.g. changing the narrative from joint ‘wear and tear’ to ‘wear and repair’, pre-emphasising normal age related radiological changes.

Learning outcomes

After completing the pre-reading and attending this Small Group meeting, participants will be able to:

  • Describe persistent pain and how it is influenced by multiple biopsychosocial factors
  • Assess elements that contribute to an individual’s pain using the holistic approach to health and wellbeing and discuss how they can be addressed
  • Recognise how your interaction with a patient can positively or negatively affect a patient’s journey
  • Explain how imaging correlates poorly with level of pain or loss of function
  • Review the current evidence for medications and surgical interventions and understand their limitations
  • Identify inequity and outline ways to reduce barriers contributing to persistent knee pain

Supporting material

  • It is recommended that attendees review the pre-reading (PDF) before attending the session
  • This information (PDF) will support discussion during the session
  • Further supporting material is provided when participating in a Small Group training session.