Australian Pain Society 32nd Annual Scientific Meeting
1 - 4 April 2012 | Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre, Victoria.
Integrated Perspective of Pain: People, Policies, Science Education
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Procedural Pain in Childhood – People, Policies, Science, Education

Chair: Megan James, Sydney Children’s Hospital Network, NSW

As part of essential medical care, many children undergo painful procedures – immunization, cannulation, burn and wound care, fracture reduction, amongst others.  How we manage their pain and non-pain-related distress affects not just their experience ‘in the moment’ but may influence their memories and future experiences.


In this topical session we address the muddy ground between analgesia and sedation for painful procedures.  Participants can expect animated discussion regarding:

  • International and national standards and guidelines relevant to this area of practice.  Current controversies will be highlighted for discussion.
  • Models for delivering analgesia and sedation services to children.  Experiences and practical tips from those who have struggled to establish such services will be shared.
  • The challenges of developing and maintaining staff training programs will be outlined and the role of simulation-based education discussed.
  • Practical examples of how such services meet the needs of children using procedural burn care as an example.



Dr Ian McKenzie, Royal Children’s Hospital, VIC

Ms Lisa Takacs, Manager, Comfort Kids Program, VIC

Dr Philip Russell, Princess Margaret Hospital, WA 

Dr Susie Lord, John Hunter Children’s Hospital, NSW



Cross Cultural Issues in Education

Chair: Dr Melissa Viney, Geelong Hospital, VIC

We believe that Australia has led the way with respect to the acknowledgement and treatment of patients with pain. We have world leaders in the field of pain medicine practicing in Australia but will we continue to lead the way and, what lessons can we learn from elsewhere with respect to education in pain medicine? This session will attempt to explore whether we have remained at the forefront of pain education and whether the experiences of other cultures can be shared or, whether they require modification for local applicability. With limited resources in medicine generally and tighter budgets affecting all levels of training we will aim to identify the positive developments and the pitfalls, of education in pain medicine across different cultural groups.

Mr Owen Williamson is in a unique position to be able to provide a perspective on the educational activities that are taking place in Canada and to compare them to those that exist and are in development in Australia, whilst Dr Diarmuid McCoy will examine the UK and Irish systems of education and credentialling in pain medicine. Our other speaker is yet to be confirmed.


Mr Owen Williamson, JPSOCS Pain Management Clinic, Canada 

Dr Diarmuid McCoy, Geelong Hospital, Pain Management Unit, VIC

Dr Williemena Ong, Malaysia



New Approaches to Understanding Visceral Pain

Chair: Professor Janet Keast – University of Sydney, Pain Management Research Institute.

Visceral pain conditions are very difficult to treat. Many strategies that are effective for somatic pain fail to show useful actions on visceral pain, and it has been a challenge to identify new targets that avoid side-effects. For many years, development of new approaches has been constrained by a lack of fundamental neurobiological and pharmacological understanding of visceral pain pathways – many features of which are now known to differ considerably from somatic pain. Moreover, there is considerable co-morbidity of chronic pain states that involve the viscera, including interstitial cystitis, endometriosis and irritable bowel syndrome. This Topical Session brings together leading experts in different aspects of visceral pain. Presentations will include recent data to highlight advances in our understanding of visceral pain mechanisms. They will also discuss strengths and weaknesses of experimental models currently available to study visceral pain, and summarise their progress towards translational outcomes. The session will commence with an overview to demonstrate the key differences between visceral and somatic pain pathways, and then move to presentations focused on the latest research on sensory mechanisms and dysfunction in the digestive and lower urinary tracts, and new insights into irritable bowel syndrome and pelvic neuroinflammation.


Dr Peregine Osborne – University of Sydney, Pain Management Research Institute

Professor L. Ashley Blackshaw – Queen Mary University of London, Wingate Institute of Neurogastroenterology, UK

Professor John Furness – University of Melbourne, Department of Anatomy & Cell Biology



Developing a Pain Service in the Private Sector

Chair: Dr Clayton Thomas - Melbourne Pain Group, VIC

Providing pain management services in the private sector provides some specific challenges in terms of the clinical, administrative and governance requirements.  Speakers from differing disciplines will relate their experiences in establishing and maintaining a private practice, including innovative use of IT, clinical support networks and developing relationships with other health care providers.  Issues relating to continuing education and clinical supervision will be discussed.


Dr Clayton Thomas - Melbourne Pain Group, VIC

Dr Jacqui Stanford - Empower rehab, VIC

Mr Nick Economos - Empower rehab, VIC

Dr Richard Sullivan - Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre,  East Melbourne, VIC



An update on neurological disorders associated with persistent pain

Chair: Dr Nadine Attal, Clinical Pain Center, Ambroise Pare Hospital, Boulogne, France

Persistent pain is a major complicating symptom in a range of neurological disorders, such that multidisciplinary pain medicine input will be sought by patients and colleagues alike.  This session will explore current understanding of the disease processes and pain issues in those suffering from Movement Disorders (notably Parkinson’s disease), Multiple Sclerosis, and Dementia (including comparisons between Alzheimer’s and Non- Alzheimer’s types).  Areas for future research and potential therapeutic implications will be discussed.

Our invited international speaker, Dr Nadine Attal, will provide her insights and experience.


Dr Malcolm Hogg, Royal Melbourne Hospital, VIC

Dr Simon Sung, Melbourne, VIC

Prof Stephen Gibson, National Ageing Research Institute, VIC



Developments in delivery models for pain services: “state versus state”

Chair: Prof Milton Cohen, St Vincent’s Hospital, NSW 

Whilst the National Pain Strategy has broad support, it lacks concerted federal government encouragement.  A range of state based policy initiatives are taking up the challenge of improving breadth and access to pain management services.  This session will discuss the process for implementing change at government, clinician and consumer level. 


Dr Stephanie Davies, Freemantle Hospital, WA

Prof Julia Fleming, Royal Brisbane Hospital, QLD

Dr Chris Hayes, Hunter Integrated Pain Service, NSW