Assessment and management of chronic pain
Intended for healthcare professionals

Assessment and management of chronic pain

Amanda Howarth Senior lecturer in adult nursing, Faculty of Health and Wellbeing, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, England
Debbie Poole Clinical nurse specialist in chronic pain, Pain Clinic, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Sheffield, England

Why you should read this article:
  • To recognise the effects chronic pain can have on a person’s life

  • To understand the range of management interventions available for chronic pain

  • To count towards revalidation as part of your 35 hours of CPD, or you may wish to write a reflective account (UK readers)

  • To contribute towards your professional development and local registration renewal requirements (non-UK readers)

Chronic pain can have significant physical, psychological and social effects on a person’s life, as well as on their families and friends. However, it is often not well-recognised or understood, which can lead to further harm. Therefore, an individualised, person-centred approach to chronic pain is essential to accurately assess pain and to develop an appropriate treatment plan. This article outlines the biomedical and psychosocial factors that can influence an individual’s pain experience that should be considered as part of the assessment and management of chronic pain, and explores the assessment tools available to assist in this process. It also discusses the management options available for chronic pain, including neural blockade and analgesics, as well as non-pharmacological options such as psychological approaches, physical activity and exercise, and complementary and alternative therapies.

Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2019.e11395

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software


Conflict of interest

None declared

Howarth A, Poole D (2019) Assessment and management of chronic pain. Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2019.e11395

Published online: 05 August 2019

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