Module 3: Assessment

Lesson 1

Chronic Pain: Comprehensive Assessment

A comprehensive chronic pain assessment incorporates the following:

  • Assessment of the pain condition
  • General medical condition and psychosocial history
  • A psychiatric status assessment
  • Substance use history
  • The use of screening tools (NOUGG, 2017)

Pain condition

    • A thorough history and physical examination is conducted to determine the type, cause and nature of the pain. This includes questions about past investigations and interventions for pain including medication trials;
    • The pain intensity and related functional impairment are assessed: For example, impact of pain on work, school, home and leisure activities. One measurement tool that is useful for this is the Brief Pain Inventory (long form and short form);
    • Differential diagnoses related to disorders of the musculoskeletal, neurophysiological, reproductive, urinary, gastrointestinal systems etc. should be considered.