Evidence-Informed Assessment and Evaluation of Pain

presented by James Elliott & David Walton

Accreditation Check:

This course is part of our OCS Prep-Program. Learn more about the full prep-program here: MedBridge OCS Prep-Program.

Pain is a multidimensional and intensely personal experience. This course will help you understand how to select the right application and interpretation of key tools for fully exploring a patient’s pain experience, and how those results can inform clinical decisions. The perils, pitfalls, and advances of measuring an invisible experience make this a difficult topic to understand. This course will cover the methods through which comprehensive pain assessment leads to informed management and optimized outcomes.

Meet Your Instructors

  • James Elliott, PT, PhD

    James Elliott, PT, PhD

    James (Jim) Elliott (@elliottjim) completed his PhD at the University of Queensland, Australia (UQ) in 2007 and a post-doctoral fellowship (2010) at UQ’s Centre for Research Excellence in Spinal Pain, Injury and Health and the Centre for Advanced Imaging. He is currently a tenure-track Assistant Professor in the Feinberg School of Medicine and the principal investigator of The Neuromuscular Imaging Research Lab (@NIRL_NU) where he supervises five PhD students. Jim is also an Honorary Senior Fellow at UQ and an Affiliate Professor at the Zürich University of Applied Sciences, Switzerland. He has been successful as an early career investigator as in evidence of $3.3 million in research funding, over 60 peer-reviewed publications, and numerous speaking invitations at interdisciplinary conferences on a national and international level. The primary focus of Jim’s laboratory is to characterize the underlying neurophysiological and biological mechanisms for poor functional recovery following spinal trauma, in particular, traumatic injuries following a motor vehicle collision (MVC). Broad applications of his work include preventing, diagnosing, and treating neuromuscular related pain and its sequelae. To do this, he utilizes structural and advanced imaging applications to quantify the temporal development of altered spinal cord anatomy and whole-body skeletal muscle degeneration as potential markers of poor functional outcomes. Jim currently serves as an Advisory Board Member for the journal Spine and is a Board of Director for the Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy. Jim played professional baseball for the San Diego Padres (1990-1992), worked in major league baseball operations for the Colorado Rockies (1993-1996), and was recently inducted into the University of Denver Athletic Hall of Fame (2014). In full transparency, Jim admits to needing medication for his life-long love of the Chicago Cubs.

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  • David Walton, PT, PhD, FCAMPT

    David Walton, PT, PhD, FCAMPT

    David Walton (@uwo_dwalton) completed his BScPT in Physical Therapy from the University of Western Ontario in 1999, MSc in Neuroscience in 2001, and PhD in Health and Rehabilitation Science from Western in 2010. Following a combined 10 years of clinical practice, he is now Associate Professor in the School of Physical Therapy at Western University (London, Canada), an Associate Scientist with the Lawson Health Research Institute, and a member of the teaching faculty with Western's Bone and Joint Institute. He is Director and Principal Investigator of the Pain and Quality of Life Integrative Research Lab where he supervises five PhD and one MSc student in addition to several professional and undergraduate students. Dave is active in the University community, having formed two interdisciplinary research groups: the Collaboration for the Integration of Rehabilitation and Consumer Electronics (CIRCLE) and the Solving Traumatic pain and disability through Advanced Research Translation (START) groups. Innovative research and knowledge translation initiatives are underway through these groups that focus on improving measurement, prognosis, and treatment for neuromusculoskeletal pain problems of primarily the neck and low back. He has published over 50 scientific publications, four book chapters, presented at several national and international conferences, and has secured nearly $1 million in research funding. Outside of the University, Dave is currently an Associate Editor with the scientific Manual Therapy and an International Editor for The Journal of Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy, he is Secretary of the Education Special Interest Group of the International Association for the Study of Pain, a member of the Allied Health subsection of the North American Spine Society, and co-founder / past-Chair of the Pain Science Division of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association. Dave has been recognized for this teaching and mentorship through two Faculty Teaching Awards of Excellence and the 2014 National Mentorship Award from the Canadian Physiotherapy Association. He is an active member of Western's Teaching Support Centre through which he facilitates workshops for faculty development, and is increasingly sought as a provider of Continuing Professional Development in the area of neck pain management, soft skills development, pain assessment, and adult education for clinicians. Finally, and most importantly, Dave is immensely proud of his role as father to two incredible daughters and husband of an outstanding wife. The phrase 'punching above his weight' most certainly applies.

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

Download Learning Objectives
  1. Measuring the Immeasurable

    1. Measuring the Immeasurable

    Chapter One covers the current models of pain and related disability. The participant will be presented two case studies that will be dissected throughout the chapter.

  2. Introducing the Concept of Triangulation

    2. Introducing the Concept of Triangulation

    This chapter describes the importance of multiple evaluation procedures. The participant will learn how consistent results from different pieces of evidence are sufficient to identify whether or not that domain is a problem.

  3. The Generic ‘Go-To’ Tools that Should be in Everyone’s Toolbox

    3. The Generic ‘Go-To’ Tools that Should be in Everyone’s Toolbox

    In Chapter Three Dr. Walton will present his recommendations for the three go-to tools he uses for every patient with pain and describes how they inform my subsequent evaluation.

  4. Key clinical Tools for Comprehensive Pain Assessment

    4. Key clinical Tools for Comprehensive Pain Assessment

    In Chapter Four, Mr. Walton will describe key measurement tools that are widely supported in the literature for purposes of quantifying a patient’s position on each of the neuromatrix domains.

  5. Informed Treatment Decisions

    5. Informed Treatment Decisions

    In the final chapter of the this course, the participant will look at how the different pain profiles might lead to different approaches to treatment.