This resource was developed by Painaustralia with funding from the Australian Government Department of Health.
Painaustralia acknowledges the contribution of the Australian Pain Society which provided invaluable information to assist in the development of this resource.
The criteria for inclusion in this Directory is based on the International Association for the Study of Pain’s (IASP) recommendations for Pain Treatment Services.
Painaustralia provides this information as a service to the general public and guide to available pain services based on the IASP criteria. Painaustralia has made every attempt to ensure that the information contained on this site is from reliable sources. Painaustralia is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information. The information is provided 'as is' with no guarantee of completeness, accuracy, timeliness or of the results obtained from the use of this information.
Painaustralia recognises the clinicians with a specialist skillset in pain management who are members of
We acknowledge other members of Painaustralia contribute to pain management in Australia. Their details can be found here.
Certain links in this site connect to other websites maintained by third parties over whom Painaustralia has no control. Painaustralia makes no representations as to the accuracy or any other aspect of information contained on other websites.
There are three levels of pain services that may benefit you. Level 1 and 2 facilities will require referral from a GP. In some cases, you will only have access to one of these levels, and may need to travel to a major city to attend a Level 1 facility. Should you require a paediatric pain service for your child, you may even need to travel interstate. Your doctor can discuss your options with you.
Level 1 Facility: These are called Multidisciplinary Pain Clinics. They are located in public and private hospitals and are staffed by physician and non-physician healthcare providers. The director of the facility is a physician or someone with appropriate medical training. The team includes a psychiatrist or psychologist and there are least three medical specialties and at least two non-physician healthcare disciplines (eg. physiotherapy, nursing, social work) available. Level 1 clinics offer research, teaching and training.
Level 2 Facility: These are called Pain Management Services. The director of the facility is a physician or someone with appropriate medical training. The team includes a psychiatrist or psychologist and there are least two non-physician healthcare disciplines (eg. physiotherapy, nursing, social work) available. If analgesic procedures are performed, a registered nurse will be present. Level 2 clinics do not offer research, teaching or training.
Level 3 Facility: These are called Pain Practices. A pain practice can be a single healthcare provider licensed in their speciality with pain medicine training or equivalent. The provider is knowledgeable about the biological, psychological, and social factors that contribute to pain problems. Should they be unable to help a patient, that patient will be referred to a Level 1 or Level 2 facility.
Public Hospital - PB
Private Facility - PV
There are four types of pain services included in Painaustralia’s Directory of Services. They include:
Appropriately qualified and licensed ‘pain specialists’ must be Fellows of the Faculty of Pain Medicine (the professional organisation for specialist pain medicine physicians).
Some healthcare practitioners (both physicians and non-physicians) have specialty training in pain management such as members of the Australian Pain Society (The Australian Chapter of the International Association for the Study of Pain). The Australian Pain Society is a multidisciplinary professional association whose mission is to advance pain prevention, management and clinical practice.
Adherence to the highest standards of ethics and professionalism is expected of all pain practitioners, regardless of facility or practice.
A distinguishing feature of a multidisciplinary pain centre is that the clinicians from different specialties work together in the same space and communicate with each other on a frequent and scheduled basis about patients, pain centre policies and procedures, and therapies offered in the pain centre.
Care is delivered in a programmed and coordinated manner, and is patient-centred, up-to-date, evidence-based, and safe. Clinical activity must be supervised by an appropriately trained and licensed clinical director with expertise in pain management.
All the providers in the centre should be appropriately qualified and licensed in their specialty and should be knowledgeable about the contributions of biological, psychological, and social/environmental factors to pain problems.
Clinic’s designed to meet the needs of a specific age group, such as paediatric, adolescent, or older patients, must be able to demonstrate leadership by qualified specialists in the age-related field (e.g. paediatrics, gerontology), and involve clinicians with specific experience and training with the targeted population. Clinicians in these establishments are expected to have a thorough understanding of discipline-related influences on pain problems.