Skip links and keyboard navigation

Persistent Pain Management Service

COVID-19: Patient information and resources

View the latest SCHHS service information and patient resources relating to the COVID-19 health alert.

About our Service

The Sunshine Coast Persistent Pain Management Service (SCPPMS) provides adult and paediatric outpatient services at Nambour and consultancy services to the Nambour and Sunshine Coast University Hospital campuses. The area in which we service extends to the Capricorn Coast.

Pain can become persistent (or chronic) when it extends beyond the expected period of healing, which is generally 3 to 6 months. The causes of chronic pain are complex and multifactorial, so working with a multidisciplinary team is the most effective treatment approach. SCPPMS provides support, education and individual and group multidisciplinary therapy for those with persistent pain, with the ultimate goal of patient self-management. The SCPPMS also provides education and support to both public and private sector health care workers, in order to increase community capacity to care for patients with persistent pain.

Outpatient services

The SCPPMS provides outpatient services from Nambour General Hospital, Ground Floor of Block 2. The multidisciplinary team includes pain medicine physicians, psychiatrist, rehabilitation physician, clinical nurse consultants, advanced allied health assistant, advanced allied health practitioners, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, psychologists, and administrative officers. Along with medical management current services aim to enhance self-management and independence and include:

  • The Pain 101 education program, which is the most common entry point for patients into the service
  • Medical outpatient sessions including pain medicine physician, psychiatrist and rehabilitation physician assessment and intervention
  • Allied health outpatient sessions
  • Team assessment sessions: A thorough multidisciplinary assessment by psychologists, occupational therapists, physiotherapists and pain medicine specialists
  • Medical procedural interventions if indicated after assessment
  • Various small group programs like PREP (to improve physical function and pain management), MIND (mindfulness and other psychological coping strategies), and PACING Activity workshops .
  • Conjoint assessment and consultation with the local Alcohol and Other Drug Team (AODs)
  • Tele-health education (for distant patients) programs are in development and some have commenced.
  • Sub-acute clinics- early intervention and prevention clinics, for patients with resolving acute pain (after 6 wks) and concerns that the pain may progress to persistent pain.
  • Phone advice and case conferencing available at pre-arranged times for GPs, and allied health, for consultation, and discussion of local and distance patients.

About us

The Sunshine Coast Persistent Pain Management Service (PPMS) is located in Nambour. Our programs target pain on many fronts, providing help and hope for better living. Find out more about our programs in:

Treatments are designed to minimise pain where possible, and help with other aspects of life that are affected by pain, including physical activities and mood.

Our approaches used to relieve and help you with pain include:

  • medical management including the use of pain relieving medications
  • physiotherapy including exercise instruction and functional rehabilitation
  • psychology including personal instruction in pain management skills
  • occupational therapy including returning to the workforce and appropriate activity levels
  • procedural interventions if indicated.

You are an integral part of the team and are expected to take an active role in developing self-management strategies. After we receive your referral and questionnaire from your GP, you will be directed to either an individual assessment with one or more of our team, or the PAIN101 group education program.

Following initial assessment we will make recommendations for possible programs or consultations you could attend over the next 12 months (as your referral is only valid for 12 months). Recommendations are based on best practice and clinical experience and require significant engagement from you to achieve positive outcomes. It is your responsibility to initiate further appointments to ensure you gain maximum benefit from our service.

Your first visit

You are likely to attend the PAIN101 group education program, an introduction to pain management provided in a four hour session with the team.

About PAIN101: The program covers the brain’s involvement in persistent pain, inputs to pain, self-management strategies and education about medication. PAIN101 does not involve hands-on treatment. Attending this program helps you to make an informed choice about treatment options and ensures you have a level of knowledge that will enable you to get the most out of sessions with a clinician.

Start datesDurationDays
A new program
runs every fortnight
2.5 hours

Monday 9.00am - 11.30pm or

Thursday 9.00am - 11.30pm

A small number of patients will attend a multi-disciplinary individual assessment rather than PAIN101 as their first visit. You will be informed if you fall into this category.

Subsequent visits

After PAIN101, you have 12 months to continue to use our service, after which you will need a new referral from your GP. You can choose to attend any of the group programs listed, and/or consultation with individual clinicians which involves an initial assessment interview. These programs and consultations can help you increase your activity and improve your quality of life, while living with some pain.

Group Programs:

The PPMS is comprised of a multidisciplinary team who offer short term interventions dependent on your needs and the clinician's skills. You may be seen by one or a number of the following during an allied health individual consultation:

  • A pain medicine doctor provides a comprehensive assessment, taking into account various lifestyle and medical factors, to deliver therapeutic medical recommendations and appropriate service delivery options.
  • A physiotherapist assists with gentle aerobic activity and exercise, activity pacing and graded movement therapy.
  • A psychologist assists with various psychological and social issues, mood and anxiety disorders, stress management and relaxation, targeted pain management strategies, dealing with unhelpful pain related thoughts and behaviours, coping strategies and sleep.
  • An occupational therapist assists with goal setting, pacing and energy conservation, relaxation and all aspects of returning to the workforce.
  • An advanced allied health assistant initiates case management contact and follow-up to support patient progress with applying pain management strategies and accessing appropriate services/programs and assists in the provision of clinical services.
  • A clinical nurse consultant provides triage advice, inpatient consultation/liaison, nursing support for procedural interventions and transprofessional assessments.
The Pain Rehabilitation and Education Program (PREP) consists of one weekly sessions (three hours each) for six weeks. It focuses on improving function and provides the opportunity to apply the active management principles taught in PAIN101, in the context of individual patient goals and capacity. PREP is run by the allied health team to reinforce the role of self-management and lifestyle factors in persistent pain. Topics include: developing functional and lifestyle goals, strategies for achieving goals, maintaining motivation, improving sleep and graded activity. Each session combines information, discussion and applied physical activity. Patients are assessed individually before and after the program to assist with goal development and evaluation of progress

The MIND program consists of one weekly session (1.5 hours) for eight weeks. Sessions will focus predominantly on learning and applying mindfulness techniques and other strategies which have been shown to increase the ability to cope with persistent pain. Areas covered include pain, stress, sleep and relationships.

Introduction to sleep management

Suitable for: People experiencing persistent pain and having difficulty sleeping - If OSA they should also be discussing the problem with their GP but will not be excluded from the workshop.

Patients need to ring (07) 5470 6785 to register their interest/book in for these workshops.

Pacing workshops

A small group program offered by our Occupational Therapist to assist you to do more of the things that matter with less risk of flare-ups. The program runs over 2 x 2hr sessions and answers these questions:

  1. How will pacing help me?
  2. How do I do it?
  3. How do I fit it in my day?
  4. How will it work for me in particular, my pain, my family, my jobs or activities…….?


All Persistent Pain Management Service (PPMS) referral information are now available at Health Pathways.

Managing your own care

The best way to achieve results is to set clear goals. This enables us to work together so that you get the most
out of our programs. We offer individual and group sessions to help you work towards your goals. We ask that when you have achieved all you require from us, you let us know so we can transfer your care back to your GP.

Treatment and referral timeframes
Your referral is active following your first appointment with our service. You have 12 months from this date to complete your treatment. If you develop a new persistent pain condition, for which you have not received treatment in the previous 12 months, you will need a new referral from your GP to use our service again.

What you must bring to your initial appointment

  • Medicare card and any health care cards
  • Layered clothing, such as a jacket or cardigan
Last updated: 4 June 2020