This small group meeting with a trained facilitator provides practices with a clinical update and an opportunity for interactive discussion with peers about the management of patients with neuropathic pain. This includes discussion about guidelines recommended grading system for diagnosis and treatments to achieve realistic pain reduction and improved function. GPs are encouraged to consider non-pharmacological management for their patients and if required, optimise first-line pharmacological treatments. Data from the NPS MedicineInsight program will be provided to help GPs and practice staff draw insights from current practice.
Relevance to General Practice
General practitioners can play a pivotal role in the management of neuropathic pain, with Australian studies reporting a neuropathic pain prevalence of 5-8%.
However, low diagnostic accuracy is a cause of many patients with neuropathic pain not receiving appropriate treatment, with evidence suggesting GPs may misdiagnose neuropathic pain in chronic pain states. Inadequate response to drug therapy also constitutes a substantial unmet need for patients with neuropathic pain, with Australian evidence indicating that prescribing of pregabalin may not be optimal.
This small group meeting will explain the need for targeted history and clinical examination with sensory testing to accurately diagnose probably neuropathic pain. It will also focus on optimising treatment through an individualised, stepwise approach, incorporating realistic goals and non-pharmacological strategies for pain relief and improved function.
- Review and apply the diagnostic criteria to neuropathic pain.
- Apply an individualised treatment approach considering the range of options available.
- Recognise the role of medicines in neuropathic pain management using a trial-based approach; starting at a low dose and titrating gradually with regular review.
- Develop and agree on an individualised management plan incorporating realistic outcomes and nonpharmacological measures to help manage pain and comorbidities.
- Discuss systems in your practice and prioritise areas for improvement in the management of patients with neuropathic pain.
Domains of General Practice
D1. Communication skills and the patient-doctor relationship
D2. Applied professional knowledge and skills
D3. Population health and the context of general practice
D4. Professional and ethical role
D5. Organisational and legal dimensions
Curriculum Contextual Units
- Adult health
- Care of older people