Chronic pain impacts approximately 20% of the community, with wait lists at public chronic pain services at an excessive level. In response to this, Flinders Pain Management pain unit and Flinders University’s Cognitive Behaviour Therapy programs, embarked on a partnership to improve access to evidence based therapies. To meet the increasing demands on outpatient services, a stepped care model embedding coaches into the multi disciplinary team, comprising post graduate students undertaking a Masters in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy has been established. Supervised student coaches have been trained to implement a Flinders developed guided self help workbook, that specifically addresses patient needs using high dose narrow bandwith strategy interventions, specifically designed for people experiencing chronic pain.
In order to support the implementation of this stepped care model, Flinders have worked closely with the Pain Management Unit staff to equip them with skills and knowledge in low intensity pain management strategies. In addition, the clinicians have also been trained in competency based supervision practices.
Best practice chronic pain interventions focus on improving self management skills, through behaviour change strategies, which form the basis of the ‘Rethinking pain – Chronic Pain Management’ workbook, to support people in utilising specific strategies to improve self efficacy and quality of life.
The partnership with SALHN intends to make inroads to bridge the gap and equip the next generation of health professionals, to maintain and extend their skills to support people experiencing chronic pain.
In recognition of the collaboration, the Pain Management Unit and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy programs were nominated for an excellence in strengthening partnerships team award, which is a testament to the strong collaborative relationship between us. We were thrilled to receive this recognition as we embark on this important work together and thank SALHN for the runners up acknowledgement.