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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Deanery of Clinical Sciences : Pain Management

Postgraduate Course: Pain Management in the Ageing Population (PAMA11059)

Course Outline
SchoolDeanery of Clinical Sciences CollegeCollege of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
Course typeOnline Distance Learning AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course will explore the integration of pain management with the challenges of an increasingly elderly population with particular reference to the recognition of cultural diversity and resource availability.
Course description Population demographics demonstrate a constantly changing focus in the management of pain. Most particularly, in many countries, there is an increasing number and proportion of older patients presenting with painful conditions which do not necessarily form part of any other life limiting condition. Coupled to this is the recognition that the line between previously distinct areas of pain management; that of 'Acute' and 'Chronic', pain are constantly being blurred, made more indistinct as people live longer.

Rather inevitably, this may incorporate a number of other subsections of pain management as old age doesn't come alone. For example, as life expectancy increases, the extent to which many surgical procedures are contemplated and undertaken is multiplied, with the consequent necessity to develop the means to manage pain sensitively in conjunction with advanced frailty and co-morbidity.

This is a 10-week distance learning course worth 20 credits. Students are expected to spend 20 hours per week on this course. Students will be given a brief overview of the course and will then be provided with relevant materials and resources. Specific tasks and online exercises relating to each weeks topic will be set. A final submitted assessment will be required for the course.

This is an elective course and may not be available every academic year. This will be subject to student numbers and availability of academic staff.

Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites It is RECOMMENDED that students have passed Pain - A Multidimensional Phenomenon (PAMA11067) AND Assessment, Measurement and the Multidisciplinary Approach (PAMA11054) AND Neuroanatomy and Neurophysiology and its Relevance to Pain Management (PAMA11055) AND Understanding the Pharmacological Management of Pain (PAMA11068) AND Non-Pharmacological Approaches to Pain Management (PAMA11057) AND Introduction to Pain Management in Practice (PAMA11070)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesThe minimum entry requirement is a UK 2:1 undergraduate degree, or its international equivalent.

Relevant disciplines include: medicine; nursing; dentistry; psychology; occupational therapy; physiotherapy; pharmacology; osteopathy; other allied health care profession involved in the management of pain.

Applications from those with non-university professional qualifications such as RGN with appropriate clinical experience will be considered on an individual basis.

Where applicable, you will also be required to meet any language requirements in accordance with the University's regulations.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Flexible
Course Start Date 08/04/2024
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 4, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 18, Online Activities 30, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 6, Formative Assessment Hours 2, Summative Assessment Hours 60, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 76 )
Additional Information (Learning and Teaching) 76
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Key principles that will underpin assessment activities are evidence-based practice and the application of theory to clinical practice. The principles of constructive alignment will underpin all assessments and will ensure the assessment tasks are aligned with the specific course objectives, the content of the course and the teaching methods employed.

Assessment will consist of a combination of summative written assessment and online assessment incorporating a variety of activities.

This course is assessed by participation in short case study scenarios and written assignments. This will further develop the student's abilities in the management of pain and provide participants with experience marrying theoretical and clinical case studies taken from recent practice.
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Identify appropriate pain assessment methodologies for pain in older people
  2. Recognise and interpret the impact of comorbidities on the pain of older people
  3. Adapt and tailor the management of individual patients based upon comorbid and associated conditions
  4. Explain, discuss and defend the physical changes that occur with nociception with increasing age
  5. Interpret and deconstruct issues around the management of pain conditions that affect older people and implement changes to management plans in response
Reading List
A Resource List will be provided to ensure access to appropriate and relevant resources to enable participation in this course.¿ Details about Resource Lists can be found at¿¿

Resource material will be provided to enhance each week¿s material.¿ Examples of the variety of materials used can be seen below ¿ please note this is indicative of what will be provided:¿

Anon (1320) Living longer: how our population is changing and why it matters. Office for National Statistics.

Booker, S.Q. & Herr, K.A. (2016) Assessment and Measurement of Pain in Adults in Later Life. Clinics in geriatric medicine. 32 (4), 677¿692. doi:10.1016/j.cger.2016.06.012.

Christo, P.J., Li, S., Gibson, S.J., Fine, P. & Hameed, H. (2011) Effective Treatments for Pain in the Older Patient. Current pain and headache reports. 15 (1), 22¿34. doi:10.1007/s11916-010-0164-0.

Collis, D. & Waterfield, J. (2015) The Understanding of Pain by Older Adults Who Consider Themselves to Have Aged Successfully. Musculoskeletal care. 13 (1), 19¿30. doi:10.1002/msc.1083.

Dagnino, A.P.A. & Campos, M.M. (2022) Chronic Pain in the Elderly: Mechanisms and Perspectives. Frontiers in human neuroscience. 16, 736688¿736688. doi:10.3389/fnhum.2022.736688.

Divo, M.J., Martinez, C.H. & Mannino, D.M. (2014) Ageing and the epidemiology of multimorbidity. The European respiratory journal. 44 (4), 1055¿1068. doi:10.1183/09031936.00059814.

Gokula, M. & Holmes, H.M. (2012) Tools to Reduce Polypharmacy. Clinics in geriatric medicine. 28 (2), 323¿341. doi:10.1016/j.cger.2012.01.011.

Kim, Y.-S., Park, J.-M., Moon, Y.-S. & Han, S.-H. (2017) Assessment of pain in the elderly: A literature review. The National medical journal of India. 30 (4), 203¿207. doi:10.4103/0970-258X.218673.

Lane, P. & Smith, D. (2018) Culture, ageing and the construction of pain. Geriatrics (Basel). 3 (3), 40¿. doi:10.3390/geriatrics3030040.

Levy, N., Selwyn, D.A. & Lobo, D.N. (2021) Turning ¿waiting lists¿ for elective surgery into ¿preparation lists.¿ British journal of anaesthesia¿: BJA. 126 (1), 1¿5. doi:10.1016/j.bja.2020.08.021.

Lobo, D.N., Pavel Sko¿epa, Gomez, D. & Greenhaff, P.L. (2023) Prehabilitation: high-quality evidence is still required. British journal of anaesthesia¿: BJA. 130 (1), 9¿14. doi:10.1016/j.bja.2022.09.016.

Merminod, G., Weber, O., Semlali, I., Terrier, A., Decosterd, I., Rubli Truchard, E. & Singy, P. (2022) Talking about chronic pain in family settings: a glimpse of older persons¿ everyday realities. BMC geriatrics. 22 (1), 358¿358. doi:10.1186/s12877-022-03058-8.

Milton, J.C., Hill-Smith, I. & Jackson, S.H.D. (2008) Prescribing for older people. BMJ. 336 (7644), 606¿609. doi:10.1136/bmj.39503.424653.80.

Perry G. Fine, M. (2012) Treatment Guidelines for the Pharmacological Management of Pain in Older Persons. Pain Medicine. 13, S57¿S66. doi:10.1111/j.1526-4637.2011.01307.x.

Reid, M.C., Eccleston, C. & Pillemer, K. (2015) Management of chronic pain in older adults. BMJ (Online). 350 (feb13 2), h532¿h532. doi:10.1136/bmj.h532.

Schofield, P. (2018) The Assessment of Pain in Older People: UK National Guidelines. Age and ageing. 47 (suppl_1), i1¿i22. doi:10.1093/ageing/afx192.

Schofield, P. & Abdulla, A. (2018) Pain assessment in the older population: what the literature says. Age and ageing. 47 (3), 324¿327. doi:10.1093/ageing/afy018.

Schofield, P., Dunham, M., Martin, D., Bellamy, G., Francis, S.-A., Sookhoo, D., Bonacaro, A., Hamid, E., Chandler, R., Abdulla, A., Cumberbatch, M. & Knaggs, R. (2022) Evidence-based clinical practice guidelines on the management of pain in older people ¿ a summary report. British journal of pain. 16 (1), 6¿13. doi:10.1177/2049463720976155.

Stewart, C., Schofield, P., Elliott, A.M., Torrance, N. & Leveille, S. (2014) What Do We Mean by ¿Older Adults¿ Persistent Pain Self¿management¿? A Concept Analysis. Pain medicine (Malden, Mass.). 15 (2), 214¿224. doi:10.1111/pme.12251.

Wynter-Blyth, V. & Moorthy, K. (2017) Prehabilitation: preparing patients for surgery. BMJ (Online). 358, j3702¿j3702. doi:10.1136/bmj.j3702.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills During the course students will have to demonstrate the ability to work both independently and collaboratively with others. Their knowledge and understanding of the topic will improve but they will also learn generic approaches/skills. As the course is distance learning, it will contribute to their IT, writing and communication skills which can be applied to both clinical and academic environments. Finally, they will be expected to be able to bring together and draw from the information provided through the course during their assignment writing. Competences such as structuring of work and accurate referencing should also improve.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserMiss Lindsay Rutherford
Tel: (0131) 242 9409
Course secretaryMs Ewelina Skala
Tel: (0131 5)37 1000
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