oa South African Family Practice - Assessing pain in primary care : CPD article

Volume 54, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 2078-6190
  • E-ISSN: 2078-6204



Pain is one of the the most common symptoms with which patients present in primary care. Before pain can be managed, its severity and nature need to be understood. The nature of pain is important, as a good clinical history will guide further investigation, leading to diagnosis. Monitoring pain severity is critical, as pain is largely a subjective experience, which cannot be properly managed if worsening or improvement is not monitored from a baseline. Using a standard pain measurement tool will allow for pain management over time, as the response to analgesics can be properly monitored. Different tools, to allow practitioners to assess pain in any setting, are available for patients of all ages.

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