Chronic Pain Management CPMS

  • About us

    We are a multidisciplinary team made up of pain medicine specialists, psychologists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and a child and adolescent psychiatrist. We assess and treat children and adolescents who are experiencing persistent or chronic pain.

    Chronic or persistent pain is a multi-dimensional problem that affects the patient and their family in a variety of ways. It affects mood and emotions, and often impacts on the ability to function at home, at school or work and socially. On the other hand, stress, worries or mood can make pain worse or difficult to manage. That is why we have a multidisciplinary team – our aim is to help you to return to your normal function.

    Assessment and treatment is usually in an outpatient clinic at the Royal Children’s Hospital. Initial assessment may be multidisciplinary or by a pain medicine specialist / fellow alone. Cognitive behavioural approaches are often used in conjunction with analgesic medications and pain management techniques, with input from psychology, occupational therapy, psychiatry and physiotherapy. We provide education about the many factors that contribute to chronic pain and how it differs from acute pain. Treatment focuses on improving sleep, learning regulation and calming techniques, counselling, changing thoughts about pain, movement restoration, pacing strategies to get back to regular daily activities, and exercises. We consult with the patient's therapists and provide advice to the referrers, doctors, therapists and other local services involved, as well as school.

    Referrals

    Referrals are only accepted from medical practitioners (hospital doctors, specialists or GPs). Referrals must include details of the patient's relevant history and investigations. External referrals should be directed to the Head of Pain Management, A/Prof George Chalkiadis who can be contacted by telephone (03) 9345 5233 or on fax (03) 9345 6003 or by mail:

    Children’s Pain Management Clinic 
    Department of Anaesthesia & Pain Management, 
    3rd Floor Clinical Offices
    Royal Children's Hospital 
    50 Flemington Rd
    Parkville, Vic, 3052

    Appointments

    Once the initial referral has been received, an appointment is made for the patient and their family.  Appointment types fall into one of two categories:

    1. Appointment with a pain specialist and/or pain fellow (see Staff, below).
      1. Pain medicine specialist only (allow up to 1 hour, Wednesdays and Thursdays only).
    2. A multidisciplinary assessment.
      1. A new patient multidisciplinary assessment commences at 8am, and takes 4.5 hours (Wednesdays and Thursdays only).  

    Other treatment appointments usually occur Monday to Thursdays. If patients are being treated by different disciplines, the appointments are usually grouped on the same day to be less disruptive for school and parents’ schedules.

    The initial multidisciplinary assessment visit- what to expect

     Multidisciplinary Assessments are performed on Wednesday and Thursday mornings in the  Specialist Clinic B (located on the 1st floor near the green lifts) (PDF).

    As explained above, chronic or persistent pain is a multi-dimensional problem. In order to fully understand your pain and any problems arising from it, the initial multidisciplinary assessment covers many of these perspectives.

    • It usually involves consultations with a:
      • pain medicine specialist and / or fellow (8am-9am)
      • psychologist and child and adolescent psychiatrist (9am-10am)
      • occupational therapist and physiotherapist (10am-11am)
    •   The team then meets to discuss the treatment options (11am-12pm). The pain medicine specialist then meets with the patient and their family at 12pm to inform them of the team's assessment and recommendations. The final meeting with the patient and family is usually finished by 12:30pm
    • A letter detailing the pain specialist or full team's findings and recommendation is sent to the referring medical practitioner and any other relevant healthcare providers including the patient's GP.

    You will be asked to fill out a few questionnaires before your appointment on the day, which will take between 20 and 30 minutes. These will either be mailed to you beforehand, or you will have time to do them on hard copyat the beginning or towards the end of your session with us. They ask you questions about your pain and its impact on you and your family, your feelings, your function and sensitivities. You or your parents will be given a consent form to sign, to give us permission to upload the data (which will be de-identified) to a central databank. We will also seek your permission to communicate with your referring doctor, your treating specialists, and your school and/or work.

    For more information please read the Children's Pain Management Clinic: Information for families brochure.

    Our clinic coordinator's telephone number is (03) 9345 5403

    Useful Links: Understanding pain- and what's to be done about it in 10 minutes at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lVdulzi6oYw  (a ten minute cartoon style explanation about persistent pain (Produced by a German Children's Pain Clinic)

    Staff

    Pain Specialists

    • A/Prof George Chalkiadis (Head)
    • A/Prof Greta Palmer (Deputy Head)
    • Pain Fellow - a doctor training to be a pain specialist, with us for 6 or 12 months 

    Physiotherapists

    • Mark Bradford
    • Blaise Doran 

    Occupational Therapists

    • Dr Cate Sinclair 
    • Zoe Strang

    Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist

    • Dr Roger Foot

    Clinical Psychologists 

    • Dr Tanya Gruenewald
    • Dr Emily De Jager
    • Dr Fiona Kirpichnikov

    Clinic Coordinator

    • Blaise Doran