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Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 18/01/2023 11:30:38

Title of Module: Complexities of Pain

Code: NURS11086 SCQF Level: 11
(Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework)
Credit Points: 20 ECTS: 10
(European Credit Transfer Scheme)
School:School of Health and Life Sciences
Module Co-ordinator:Laura  MacKenzie

Summary of Module

Health and Social Care practitioners will encounter clients in pain. This will vary from that arising from simple causes to the complexities of difficult pain syndromes.  Consequently, there is a need for practitioners to acquire and promote knowledge, skills and critical analysis of total pain management.  The underpinning influence for this module is the belief that education is the key to the dissemination of new attitudes, knowledge, skills, critical analysis and research; in order to improve pain management and implement evidence based best practice.

The focus of this theoretical module is to provide the student with the opportunity to develop their knowledge and understanding of pain and critical analysis of credible and relevant evidence for best practice for pain management.

Areas covered by this module include:

  • Introduction to Pain and the concept of Total Pain
  • Pathophysiology of Pain and Pain theories
  • Pain assessment
  • Influencing factors and barriers to pain management
  • Acute and Chronic Pain
  • Pharmacological Pain Management Strategies
  • Non-Pharmacological Pain Management Strategies
  • Management of Pain – Person Centred Care
  • Multidisciplinary team
  • Professional and Ethical issues in Pain Management

This Module helps students gain graduate attributes such as: -

  • ACADEMIC - Critical thinker; Analytical; Inquiring; Knowledgeable; digitally literate; Problem-solver; Autonomous; Incisive; Innovative
  • PERSONAL – Emotionally intelligent; Ethically-minded; culturally aware; Effective communicator; Influential; Motivated; Creative; Imaginative; Resilient
  • PROFESSIONAL – Collaborative; Research-minded; socially responsible; Potential leader; Enterprising; Ambitious; Driven; Daring; Transformational


  • The module will facilitate the student to develop knowledge and skills required for the assessment and management of pain, incorporating person centred care in a variety of clinical situations from a local or global perspective.

Module Delivery Method
Face-To-FaceBlendedFully OnlineHybridCHybridOWork-based Learning
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Term used to describe the traditional classroom environment where the students and the lecturer meet synchronously in the same room for the whole provision.

A mode of delivery of a module or a programme that involves online and face-to-face delivery of learning, teaching and assessment activities, student support and feedback. A programme may be considered “blended” if it includes a combination of face-to-face, online and blended modules. If an online programme has any compulsory face-to-face and campus elements it must be described as blended with clearly articulated delivery information to manage student expectations

Fully Online
Instruction that is solely delivered by web-based or internet-based technologies. This term is used to describe the previously used terms distance learning and e learning.

Online with mandatory face-to-face learning on Campus

Online with optional face-to-face learning on Campus

Work-based Learning
Learning activities where the main location for the learning experience is in the workplace.

Campus(es) for Module Delivery
The module will normally be offered on the following campuses / or by Distance/Online Learning: (Provided viable student numbers permit)
Paisley:Ayr:Dumfries:Lanarkshire:London:Distance/Online Learning:Other:






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Term(s) for Module Delivery
(Provided viable student numbers permit).
Term 1


Term 2


Term 3check mark

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Learning Outcomes: (maximum of 5 statements)

On successful completion of this module the student will be able to:

L1. Examine the physiological pain response related to specific long term conditions

L2. Critically analyse the current evidence base in pain management including the pharmacological, non-pharmacological and psychosocial approaches

L3. Critically evaluate the role of specialists and other multi-agency care team members to support patients who encounter pain in all clinical areas and the community

Employability Skills and Personal Development Planning (PDP) Skills
SCQF Headings During completion of this module, there will be an opportunity to achieve core skills in:
Knowledge and Understanding (K and U) SCQF Level 11.

Demonstrate and or work with a critical and integrated understanding of the principal theories and drivers for change in the management of complex pain.

Develop a critical awareness of the legal, ethical, political and cultural issues involved in the management of pain.

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 11.

Use creative thinking and make informed decisions in relation to good practice guidelines and techniques for pain management.

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 11.

Critical analyse and evaluate ideas, theories, issues and needs related to managing pain.

Develops creative responses to patient problems & issues.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 11.

Demonstrates a range of communication skills with people in complex situations.

Communicating with multi-agency teams using multi-agency assessment tools.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 11.

Work in ways that are reflective, critical and analytical to facilitate and enhance effective clinical developments.

Pre-requisites: Before undertaking this module the student should have undertaken the following:
Module Code:
Module Title:
Co-requisitesModule Code:
Module Title:

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

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Learning and Teaching
This module is delivered by full Distance Learning utilising a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).
Distance learning students supported by the VLE will receive: Core quality assured module resources; individual and group tutorial support and directed learning via the VLE system. This will be aided by online discussion forums, directed wider reading including access to electronic library and e-books.
Learning Activities
During completion of this module, the learning activities undertaken to achieve the module learning outcomes are stated below:
Student Learning Hours
(Normally totalling 200 hours):
(Note: Learning hours include both contact hours and hours spent on other learning activities)
Lecture/Core Content Delivery20
Tutorial/Synchronous Support Activity14
Asynchronous Class Activity60
Personal Development Plan6
Independent Study100
200 Hours Total

**Indicative Resources: (eg. Core text, journals, internet access)

The following materials form essential underpinning for the module content and ultimately for the learning outcomes:

MacLellan, K. (2010) Expanding Nursing and Health Care Practice Management of Pain E-Book. Available: [Accessed: 25 February 2022].

Vadivelu, N., Urman, R.D. and Hines, R.L (eds) (2011) Essentials of pain management. London. Springer. Available: [Accessed: 25 February 2022].

Further reading ebook list:

Gloth, F. M. (2011) Handbook of pain relief in older adults. New York : Humana Press: Springer. Available: [Accessed: 25 February 2022].

van Griensven, H., Stong, J. and Unruh, AM. (eds) (2014) Pain: a textbook for health professionals. Edinburgh. Churchill Livingstone. Available:[Accessed: 25 February 2022].

Washington, T.A., Brown, K. and Fanciullo, G. (2012) Pain. Oxford. Oxford University Press. Available:[Accessed: 25 February 2022].

Pears, R. (2019) Cite them right: the essential referencing guide. Available: [Accessed: 10 March 2022].

In addition to these ebooks, students will be directed to a wide range of international, national and local information to support the module content and learning outcomes via the VLE.

(**N.B. Although reading lists should include current publications, students are advised (particularly for material marked with an asterisk*) to wait until the start of session for confirmation of the most up-to-date material)

Engagement Requirements

In line with the Academic Engagement Procedure, Students are defined as academically engaged if they are regularly engaged with timetabled teaching sessions, course-related learning resources including those in the Library and on the relevant learning platform, and complete assessments and submit these on time. Please refer to the Academic Engagement Procedure at the following link: Academic engagement procedure

Where a module has Professional, Statutory or Regulatory Body requirements these will be listed here:
Engaging weekly with online learning material, activities and assessments.

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Supplemental Information

Programme BoardAdult Nursing & Healthcare
Assessment Results (Pass/Fail) No
Subject PanelNursing & ODP Programmes
ModeratorElaine Stevens
External ExaminerJ Keeling
Accreditation Details
Version Number


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Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
Students will be afforded the opportunity to present their work for formative assessment.

Category 1.
One hour online test, which examines the epidemiological, biological, physiological, psychological and social implications of pain and pain assessment within the concept of total pain. LO 1
This will form 20% of the total module mark.
Category 2.
The student will take part in an on-line discussion regarding pain in specific long term conditions. LO 1
This will contribute 10% of the total module mark.
Category 3.
Students will prepare a written assignment of 3000 words on aspects of pain management. LO 2 & 3.
This will contribute 70% of the total module mark.
(N.B. (i) Assessment Outcomes Grids for the module (one for each component) can be found below which clearly demonstrate how the learning outcomes of the module will be assessed.
(ii) An indicative schedule listing approximate times within the academic calendar when assessment is likely to feature will be provided within the Student Handbook.)

Assessment Outcome Grids (Footnote A.)

Component 1
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Class test (written)check mark  201

Component 2
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Clinical/ Fieldwork/ Practical skills assessment/ Debate/ Interview/ Viva voce/ Oralcheck mark  104

Component 3
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Essay check markcheck mark7025
Combined Total For All Components100% 30 hours

A. Referred to within Assessment Section above
B. Identified in the Learning Outcome Section above

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  1. More than one assessment method can be used to assess individual learning outcomes.
  2. Schools are responsible for determining student contact hours. Please refer to University Policy on contact hours (extract contained within section 10 of the Module Descriptor guidance note).
    This will normally be variable across Schools, dependent on Programmes &/or Professional requirements.

Equality and Diversity
This module is appropriate for all students. To promote inclusive practice, procedures and processes have been subject to Equality Impact Assessment where appropriate. In line with the Equality Act 2010 and UWS Refreshed Equality Outcomes 2021 - 2025 Public Sector Equality Duty Mainstreaming and Equality Outcomes Report 2021 ( (pp. 37 - 39) the School of Health and Life Sciences encourages the disclosure of support requirements, including disability, at the recruitment stage and throughout the duration of the module. Emphasis is placed on confidentiality of information, the benefits of disclosure and that no detriment to progress will be experienced. The School will endeavour to make reasonable adjustments to teaching and learning approaches and arrangements for assessment, and (when applicable) periods of placement, where a student has disclosed specific requirements.
UWS Equality and Diversity Policy
(N.B. Every effort will be made by the University to accommodate any equality and diversity issues brought to the attention of the School)

2014 University of the West of Scotland

University of the West of Scotland is a Registered Scottish Charity.

Charity number SC002520.