NICE Guidance for Chronic pain (primary and secondary) published

The NICE guideline for Chronic pain (primary and secondary) in over 16s: assessment of all chronic pain and management of chronic primary pain has been published.

The guidance has been updated from the draft guidance that the PPA consulted on in August 2020. There PPA welcomes some small, but notable changes from the draft that were part of the PPA submission.

The PPA are pleased that the NICE committee stated in reply to the PPA submission that they took on board the PPA’s comments regarding pain neuroscience education. This has resulted in the addition of a section on ‘Providing advice and education’. This recommendation encourages discussion with people with chronic pain, their family or carers about the nature of their condition, prognosis and investigations. However, we wish this had been given more prominence.

The guideline has expanded the recommendations for assessment of all types of chronic pain with a strong emphasis on person centred, thorough and detailed assessment.

The guideline defines chronic primary pain in line with the ICD-11 and acknowledges that chronic primary and secondary pain conditions can co-exist.

The recommendations now focus on the management of chronic primary pain only. As a result, the draft recommendation for further research into pain management programmes has been removed.

Supervised group exercise is now recommended in all its forms, taking into account people’s needs, preference and abilities. This is a welcome change from the draft that specified exercise approaches.

Thank you to all the members who provided comments for the PPA submission on the draft. The PPA recognises the hard work of the committee members in developing this guideline.

There are small, but important changes to the recommendations from the draft NICE guideline. The full guidance including supporting documentation is available here

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