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Identifying Pain in Those Who Can’t Communicate it

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Pain is complex, subjective and varying. As well as causing physical discomfort, pain may also have implications on an individual’s emotional or mental wellbeing. While patient self-reports are the most reliable gauge of pain, some patients may not have the capacity to communicate their discomfort.

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Pain is complex, subjective and varying. The International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) defines pain as ‘an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such damage’. Pain can range from mild to severe, affecting a localised area or several parts of the body. It is a highly personal experience that varies in intensity depending on the individual, even if caused by the same stimulus.

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Ausmed’s editorial team is committed to providing high-quality, well-researched and reputable education to our users, free of any commercial bias or conflict of interest. All education produced by Ausmed is developed in consultation with healthcare professionals and undergoes a regular rigorous review process to ensure the relevancy of all healthcare information and updates to changes in practice. If you have identified an issue with the education offered by Ausmed or wish to submit feedback to Ausmed's editorial team, please email ausmed@ausmed.com.au with your concerns.
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760 reviews by Ausmed Learners
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Allan Lock
14 Jun 2020
This article awakened me to the communication challenges of non verbal patents. Its not only those who can't speak but also those recovering from surgery and many other reasons. This article is definately worth the read.
JJ
Jenni Johnson
08 Feb 2022
Knowledge reniforced
GH
George Harness
13 Jun 2020
Great course
Portrait of Sophie Anderson
Sophie Anderson
09 Jun 2020
Excellent refresher, especially for aged care workers!
GP
Georgia Pearson
03 Sep 2020
Very informative and concise with excellent resources
LP
Libby Pickmere
11 Oct 2020
Good content
ON
Olivia Nelson
06 Feb 2022
very useful resource.
TG
Tina Garrard
14 Jun 2020
Pain assessment & pain management need more work to achieve better outcomes for pain relief
CG
Claire Grey
08 Dec 2021
Great and informative. I think this is an important topic to learn.
JM
Jescinta Meloury
06 May 2021
Very interesting
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