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Pain: Assessment, Non-Opioid Treatment Approaches and Opioid Management

Guideline Summary

Revision Date: September 2016
Seventh Edition

This guideline, Pain: Assessment, Non-Opioid Treatment Approaches and Opioid Management guideline, is a combination of ICSI’s Acute Pain Assessment/Opioid Prescribing Protocol and the Assessment and Management of Chronic Pain guidelines. Our new guideline now addresses the entire continuum for acute, sub-acute, and chronic non-cancer pain in adults.

The purpose of this guideline is to assist primary care in developing systems that support effective assessment, treatment and ongoing management of patients with pain. Updated evidence-based and best practice recommendations focus less on the pain score, and more on actively managing pain based on function and assisting patients to reach their goals.

The work group acknowledges that pain and opioids are currently intertwined, and provides the clinician with realistic approaches to the management of patients using opioids for pain. Guidance for short-term opioid treatment is included for patients when other treatments are not sufficient or urgent pain relief is indicated. In addition, recommendations and information are provided for the management of chronic opioid use.

The work group would like to acknowledge the work done by the ICSI Patient Advisory Council in reviewing this guideline, and thank them for suggestions to improve the shared decision-making opportunities throughout the document. Learn more.


Use the hyperlinks in the tables below to go directly to the different pages of the guideline. Use the buttons on each page to easily navigate within the guideline.