Chronic pain: opioids and beyond

Case study

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­ CPD points

  • RACGP for 2 (category 2) points for GPs
  • ACRRM for 1 core point for GPs
  • 1 hour of Group 2 CPD (or 2 CPD credits) for pharmacists
  • 1 CPD hour for nurses


Recognised for the Practice Incentives Program Quality Prescribing Incentive.

In this case study you will meet Pina, a 78-year-old woman who is experiencing worsening arthritic pain. She is finding it increasingly difficult to cope with the pain, especially as she lives alone.

What factors do you think are contributing to Pina's pain and what management options would you recommend? How can you apply a biopsychosocial model of care to help manage Pina's pain? Where do opioids fit into the overall approach?

Complete this case study at your convenience on the device of your choice (computer, tablet or smartphone). Receive instant feedback, compare your approach to that of your peers and read expert commentary provided by leading pain specialist Dr Newman Harris.

Learning outcomes

By completing this case study you will be able to:

  • Implement a systematic approach to managing chronic non-cancer pain.
  • Discuss pain management goals with patients experiencing chronic pain.
  • Identify contributing factors (yellow flags) to chronic non-cancer pain.
  • Recognise and support patients with chronic non-cancer pain in whom a trial of opioid therapy may be beneficial.
  • List adverse effects associated with long-term opioid therapy.

CPD and incentives


This activity has been approved by the RACGP for 2 (Category 2) points for the 2014–2016 triennium (activity ID 23698).

This activity has been accredited by ACRRM for 1 Core point for the 2014–2016 triennium (code O1507NPMW).

This activity is recognised for the Practice Incentives Program Quality Prescribing Incentive (PIP QPI).


APC accredited CPD logo
Accreditation number: CX150006. This activity has been accredited for 1 hour of Group 2 CPD (or 2 CPD credits) suitable for inclusion in an individual pharmacist’s CPD plan.

Our case studies help pharmacists to meet the following competency standards as set out in the National Competency Standards Framework for Pharmacists in Australia 2010:

  • 1.2 Practise to accepted standards
  • 1.3 Deliver 'patient-centred' care
  • 4.2 Consider the appropriateness of prescribed medicines
  • 6.1 Assess primary health care needs
  • 6.2 Deliver primary health care
  • 7.1 Contribute to therapeutic decision making.


This activity is endorsed by ACN according to our Continuing Professional Development Endorsed Course Standards. It has been allocated 1 CPD hour according to the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia – Continuing Professional Development Standard.

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