Better pain management approaches rapid review

The John Walsh Centre for Rehabilitation Research (JWCRR) has completed a rapid review of the evidence for better pain management approaches.

This report outlines the published evidence on chronic pain management approaches between 2009 and 2019.

Key findings from the rapid review

  • Chronic pain is known to negatively impact:
    • quality of life and wellbeing
    • physical disability and impairment
    • mental health
    • employment and financial stress
    • social isolation and relationships
  • The biopsychosocial model provides a framework to manage chronic pain effectively in a multidisciplinary way to address the many dimensions of the problem
  • Hands-on therapy has a role in acute pain management, but evidence in chronic pain management supports active self-management over passive strategies
  • Active self-management is any strategy used by the individual to increase their ability to work and function, perform household duties and simply enjoy life under the guidance of a health professional
  • Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can help people with chronic pain improve mood, cope better with disability and reduce catastrophising styles of thinking
  • People with chronic pain should not rely solely on pain medication for relief of their pain
  • Chronic pain is among the most common reasons for temporary as well as permanent work disability
  • Compensable injury, or the eligibility for and/or the pursuit of an injury compensation claim leads to worse outcomes than the same injury that is not compensable


An overview of the results of this review were presented by Professor Ian Cameron, Head, John Walsh Centre for Rehabilitation Research (JWCRR), via a webinar on 21 October 2020. View: