A multidisciplinary pain clinic is a health care delivery facility staffed by physician and non-physician health care providers who specialise in the diagnosis and management of a wide variety of patients with painful conditions. The staff of a multidisciplinary pain clinic should be appropriately qualified and able to assess and treat the medical, physical, psychosocial and vocational aspects of a wide variety of patients with pain.
At least 3 medical specialties should be represented on the staff of a multidisciplinary pain clinic. If one of these medical specialties is not psychiatry, a psychologist is mandatory.
At least 2 non-physician health care disciplines should be represented on the staff of a multidisciplinary pain clinic. Such disciplines include nursing, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, psychology, social work, vocational counselling and others appropriate to the population being served. For those clinics in which analgesic procedures are performed, a registered nurse is mandatory; for those clinics which mount cognitive behavioural programs, a psychologist is mandatory.
There should be a director or coordinator of the multidisciplinary pain clinic. If that person is not a physician, there should be a medically trained person responsible for monitoring the medical services provided. That person should be a Fellow of the Faculty of Pain Medicine of the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists or be similarly qualified and experienced.
The multidisciplinary pain clinic should have designated space and adequate support staff to carry out its activities.
The multidisciplinary pain clinic should maintain records on its patients so as to be able to assess individual treatment outcomes and to evaluate overall program effectiveness.
The health care professionals of a multidisciplinary pain clinic should hold, at least fortnightly, multidisciplinary around table meetings concerning individual patients and the management programs offered in the clinic.
A multidisciplinary pain centre is a particular form of multidisciplinary pain clinic performing research, being active in educational programs and being part of or closely affiliated to a major educational or research institution in the health sciences.