Health professionals

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Pain resources

  • Communicating about pain
    The resources on this page are designed to support effective conversations between health professionals and patients about managing non-cancer pain.

  • Acute pain management
    Pain can be experienced in many ways, from mild discomfort to severe and constant pain. There are also many different treatments for managing pain. Explore our resources to support the treatment of acute pain.
  • Safe use of opioids in acute pain
    These resources have been developed to support best practice in the safe use of opioids for acute pain in the post-operative period and emergency department.

  • Chronic pain management
    Chronic pain is pain that lasts more than 3 months or longer than expected for healing after surgery, injury or a condition. The cause may also be unknown. It is sometimes called 'persistent pain'. It can be a difficult to treat and balancing treatment options is vital.

  • Analgesic safety and dependence
    Evidence suggests that harmful effects of opioids are more likely to happen to people who take opioids for 3 months or more, or who take higher doses of opioids.

  • Tapering and reducing opioids
    Tapering opioids may not worsen chronic non-cancer pain, and recent evidence suggests that it improves function and quality of life.

Video: communicating about opioids

This video explores conversations between health professionals and patients, and outlines ‘motivational interviewing’, which is the recommended evidence-based communication approach for these conversations, including its underlying ethos, four main principles and five key skills.

The video series has been developed with funding from the Therapeutic Goods Administration, Australian Government Department of Health, and in collaboration with Painaustralia Consumer Advisory Group.

Health professional online learning

NPS MedicineWise produces online learning modules and activities to support best practice. NPS MedicineWise has curated the following modules to support best practice in pain management.

For GPs​
For pharmacists
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For nurses​

For more information...


Opioids, chronic pain and the bigger picture

Opioid medicines in chronic non-cancer pain – balancing opioid-related harm with effective pain management and quality of life.

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Neuropathic pain

Accurate diagnosis is key to optimal management of this challenging condition.

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Low back pain

Providing reassurance, encouraging activity and reducing reliance on imaging.

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Opioids: New and amended PBS listings

Changes made to support the appropriate prescribing and use of opioids, and reduce harms.

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Medicinal cannabis: what you need to know

Information and resources about medicinal cannabis for consumers and health professionals.

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Choosing Wisely Australia

Choosing Wisely recommendations for opioids across different healthcare settings.