17-20 March 2013 | National Convention Centre, Canberra, ACT, Australia

Topical Sessions 2


Lost in Transition: The challenge of Transitional Care for adolescents with persistent pain

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

The journey from adolescence to adulthood is a challenging time of physical, psychological and social change. Young people with persistent pain face even greater challenges, having to also deal with major changes to the way they receive care as they gain independence, as well as the way care is delivered though an adult service.

Due to various factors, health services often struggle to meet the needs of young people and families during this emotive period of transition. In this highly topical, thought provoking and engaging session, our panel of experts will provide a range of perspectives on transitional care: through the eyes of the consumer (parent of an adolescent facing transition to adult services), a paediatric and adult Pain Specialist will discuss a model of transitional care from paediatric and adult services, the psychosocial considerations pertinent to the period of development, in addition to the important role of occupational engagement in adolescents with persistent pain.


Maria Heaton, Sydney Children’s Hospital, NSW

Dr Paul Vroegop, Counties Manukau, Auckland, New Zealand

Ms Huong Nguyen, St Vincent’s Hospital, QLD

Dr Jane Thomas, Starship Children’s Hospital, Auckland, New Zealand



Psychiatry and pain

Chair: Professor George Mendelson, Monash University, VIC

The presenters will discuss the influence of personality traits and psychiatric illness on both acute pain and chronic pain, with a particular emphasis on the psychiatric aspects of pain and their treatment; the importance of borderline personality traits and attachment style will be described in detail.

Participants will have the opportunity to learn how to evaluate these important personality and psychiatric factors that contribute to the experience and presentation of pain, and how to initiate appropriate treatment.


Professor George Mendelson, Monash University, VIC

Dr Newman Harris, University of Sydney Pain Management and Research Institute, NSW

Dr Stephanie Oak, Hunter New England Health, NSW



Teaching and learning about pain in the information age

Chair: Kathyrn Nicholson Perry, University of Western Sydney, NSW

The web has delivered unprecedented opportunities for information gathering and sharing. However, has the information age delivered better outcomes for people with pain and care providers? This session will include presentations from health care providers, educators and consumers who will discuss the benefits and pitfalls of online communication.

Diana Aspinall will provide a consumer perspective on how people with persistent pain and health problems use the web to share experience, advocate for support, and gather information.

Tim Austin will discuss the opportunities for improving knowledge of pain and its management among health care providers and students.

Kathryn Nicholson Perry will share her experience with the development and implementation of online resources for people with persistent pain.


Dianna Aspinall, Community Representative, Painaustralia Limited, NSW

Tim Austin, Camperdown Physiotherapy and University of Sydney, NSW

Kathyrn Nicholson Perry, University of Western Sydney, NSW



Improving back pain with motion sensing technology

Chair: Dr Steven Jensen, Stanlake Specialist Centre, VIC

Advances in motion sensing technology are opening new windows of clinical diagnostics and therapeutic intervention spanning pain management, occupational health, sport and musculoskeletal rehabilitation fields. Small accelerometry and electromyography sensors that adhere to skin, wirelessly communicating to both clinician and patient, are creating new affordable diagnostic and treatment options.

Monitoring movement and body position of people who have pain provides insight about the complex relationship of pain to movement. When aberrant movement can be identified, visual and auditory biofeedback can provide real-time retraining, creating opportunity for neural plasticity and musculoskeletal adaption towards healthier movement in work, sport and home environments.

This topical session will present the rationale and scientific basis for modifying movement in people with back pain, and demonstrate the application of this technology to multidisciplinary pain management clinical practice. An interim analysis of a recent randomised, controlled, pilot trial (n=96) investigating the use of this biofeedback technology in participants with low back pain has revealed a significant group-by-time interaction effect for the pain (QVAS) outcome indicating that intervention group participants are recovering at a faster rate, when followed over a 12 month period [Linear mixed model coefficient (95%CI)=-0.029 (-.053, -.005), p=0.02].


Dr Stephen de Graaff, Epworth HealthCare, VIC

Associate Professor Terry Haines, Monash University, Southern Health, Hospital Falls Prevention Solutions Pty Ltd, VIC

Dr Rob Laird, Superspine, VIC



The mystery of complex regional pain syndrome: the latest evidence on inflammation, the brain and how CRPS might be optimally managed

Chair: Flavia Di Pietro, Neuroscience Research Australia, NSW

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) is a persistent and multi-system disorder that is most commonly precipitated by minor trauma.

Two dominant theories proposed to underpin CRPS are an abnormal inflammatory profile and functional reorganisation in the brain. In this session we will summarise the evidence for the role of inflammation in CRPS. Can inflammation trigger CRPS after injury, and/or maintain the signs and symptoms of the condition?

What about the brain? We will present the latest findings on cortical reorganisation and how they might shed light on what is seen in the clinic—‘neglect’, perception of a bigger limb, and feelings of foreignness towards the CRPS-affected limb. We will present the latest evidence concerning treatment of CRPS with these two theories in mind. Finally we will address what we are yet to discover and how this knowledge might impact on research and the clinical setting.


Luke Parkitny, Neuroscience Research Australia, NSW

Flavia Di Pietro, Neuroscience Research Australia, NSW

Dr Anne Daly, Austin Health, VIC



Interventional options in pain management: The controversies continue

Chair: Dr Tim Semple, Royal Adelaide Hospital, SA

There are many challenges in the ever-evolving utility of a wide range of interventional options that contribute so valuably if variably to pain management. This session brings together 3 people eminent in interventional pain internationally.

Dr Jean Pierre van Buyten from Belgium will describe the current and future uses of spinal and peripheral stimulator implants including the exciting developments in High Frequency stimulation which delivers no paraesthesia so much a part of traditional stimulation.  Professor Nik Bogduk will describe the literature on the outcomes of interventions (and pain management) for those in receipt of worker’s compensation or motor accident insurance where he may confirm or dispel the rumour that such patients or clients of ours do as well as others, or have worse outcomes.  Dr David Vivian will describe and illustrate why interventions are ineffective.

This will be a delightful session which will inform participants of all backgrounds of what, and why, they can expect the results that they observe or strive to achieve across the full range of the interventions used commonly in pain practice. 


Dr Jean-Pierre Van Buyten, St Nikolass Hosptial, Belgium

Professor Nik Bogduk, Newcastle Bone and Joint Institute, NSW

Dr David Vivian, Metro Spinal Clinic, VIC



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