‘While one in five Australians experience chronic pain (and one in three over 65 years), the National Pain Strategy indicates that many health professionals have limited training in pain management. There is a shortage of pain clinics, public waiting lists are on average two years’ long, and it’s often left to GPs to manage complex conditions in short appointments.’
One of the most challenging tasks is understanding the patient’s pain story (medical history) including the complexities around their pain, which can take up to an hour – time most doctors just don’t have. But technology is making it possible for systems being used in pain clinics to be made available even in the smallest of GP practices across the country.
Most public pain clinics in Australia are now using assessment tools developed by the ePPOC (electronic Persistent Pain Outcomes Collaboration). The tools help doctors better understand the patient’s condition by collecting data and measuring patient outcomes as a result of treatment. ePPOC has been developed by the Faculty of Pain Medicine with the Australian Pain Society and the wider pain sector.