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

Postgraduate Course: Pain in Medical Patients (PAMA11063)

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 AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryMany aspects of pain medicine are already comprehensively taught. These often relate to: acute pain related to surgery, malignancy and palliative care, non-malignant chronic pain or rheumatological/musculoskeletal pain. However, pain is a common feature of a vast range of illnesses. Despite being the commonest reason for patients to seek help, pain arising from medical conditions is often inappropriately considered less important, although often much more complex to manage than that experienced in surgical patients.

This course provides the opportunity to understand the scope and problem of pain as it arises from medical conditions. Students will also be asked to examine various medical conditions, consider the evidence for pain management options, explore the gaps between evidence and practice and also understand how to apply this knowledge to the clinical setting.
Course description This course will allow students to explore the demands of patients requiring pain management for medical conditions.

This will include the management of pain in the following general and specific conditions:
Cardiac and Chest Pain
Respiratory Disease
Endocrine Disease (including Diabetes)
Stroke/acute Neurology (non-malignant)/Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction/Trigeminal neuralgia/subarachnoid haemorrhage*
Liver Disease/Gastroenterology (including gallstones)
Peripheral Vascular Disease and Thromboembolic Disease
Haematological Disease (Sickle Cell Disease/ Haemochromatosis/ Haemophilia/ Porphyria/ Leukaemia/Lymphoma)
Genitourinary Disease
Infectious Disease (e.g. malaria, tropical diseases etc.)

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
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Flexible
Course Start Date 08/01/2024
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 2, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 20, Formative Assessment Hours 5, Summative Assessment Hours 35, Other Study Hours 50, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 84 )
Additional Information (Learning and Teaching) Includes time spent preparing for weekly discussions
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Assessment will consist of a combination of summative written assessment and online assessment incorporating a variety of activities.
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Have an advanced knowledge and the ability to outline procedures for the pain management for non-surgical, non-malignant, non-rheumatological/musculocutaneous disease
  2. Classify, distinguish and interpret definitions used in the management of medical pain
  3. Recognise and interpret barriers to the effective management of medical pain in general and their own practice
  4. Integrate and apply general principles to the management of medical pain to patients
  5. Critically appraise current knowledge and literature knowledge as it relates to a number of specific medical conditions.
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:

Chang, S.H., Maney, K.M., Mehta, V. & Langford, R.M. (2010) Pain assessment and management in medical wards: an area of unmet need. Postgraduate Medical Journal. 86 (1015), 279-284. doi:10.1136/pgmj.2008.076497.

Conway Morris, A. & Howie, N. (2009) Pain in medical inpatients: an under-recognised problem. The journal of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh. 39 (4), 292-295. doi:10.4997/JRCPE.2009.401.

Dix, P., Sandhar, B., Murdoch, J. & Macintyre, P.A. (2004) Pain on medical wards in a district general hospital. BJA: British Journal of Anaesthesia. 92 (2), 235-237. doi:10.1093/bja/aeh052.

Marks, M. & Sachar, J. (1973) Undertreatment of medical inpatients with narcotic analgesics. Survey of Anesthesiology. 17 (6), 515-516. doi:10.1097/00132586-197312000-00017.

Notcutt, W. & Gibbs, G. (2010) Inadequate pain management: myth, stigma and professional fear. Postgraduate Medical Journal. 86 (1018), 453-458. doi:10.1136/pgmj.2008.077677.

Rockett, M.P., Simpson, G., Crossley, R., Blowey, S. & Thompson, J.P. (2013) Characteristics of pain in hospitalized medical patients, surgical patients, and outpatients attending a pain management centre. British Journal of Anaesthesia. 110 (6), 1017¿1023. doi:10.1093/bja/aet007.

Royal College of Anaesthetists (2020) Guidelines for the Provision of Anaesthesia Services for Inpatient Pain Management.

Whelan, C.T., Jin, L. & Meltzer, D. (2004) Pain and Satisfaction With Pain Control in Hospitalized Medical Patients: No Such Thing as Low Risk. Archives of Internal Medicine. 164 (2), 175-180. doi:10.1001/archinte.164.2.175.

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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