United States Department of Veterans Affairs
VHA Pain Management

Clinical Resources

Educational Resources for Providers

  • Chronic Pain Primer  A brief introductory text that provides basic information regarding chronic pain and multidisciplinary treatment.

Clinical Tools

  • Assessment Resources

    • Assessing Pain in the Patient with Impaired Communication  The consensus statement from the VHA National Pain Management Strategy Coordinating Committee. 

    • CPRS pain assessment and reassessment template is available from your facility Clinical Applications Coordinator.  There are a growing number of users in VHA.  It is explicitly recommended for adoption in the soon-to-be-released VHA Pain Management Directive that strongly recommends the use of a standardized tool for pain assessment beyond pain screening with the 0-10 pain numeric rating scale.  This link is a Word document that was developed as an educational resource.

    • The International Classification of Headache Disorders * The 2nd edition of the hierarchical nosology designed for both clinical practice and research.

    • Pain as the 5th Vital Sign Toolkit The Pain as the 5th Vital Sign Toolkit [revised, 2000] is designed to help VA staff initiate the pain screening and assessment. The toolkit contains a wealth of information including VA medical center pain management policies, patient and staff education resources, and references.

    • VHA Pain Outcomes Toolkit The VHA Pain Outcomes Toolkit, [revised February 2003] is designed to assist healthcare providers and facilities to devise methods and implement processes to measure pain treatment outcomes.

  • Pain Measures

    • Pain Drawing   This simple version of the Pain Drawing Scale may be used by patients to indicate the location and quality of their pain conditions.

    • Pain Numeric Rating Scale (NRS)  This version of the Pain NRS assesses current, usual, least, and worst pain intensity on a 0 to 10 scale. 

    • Pain Outcomes Questionnaire -  The POQ is an outcomes package consisting of intake, post-treatment, and follow-up questionnaires that was developed to assess several key domains of pain treatment outcomes. The POQ contains six core subscales that assess pain intensity, pain-interference in an activities of daily living (ADLs) and mobility, negative affect, activity diminishment, and pain-related fear. To obtain a copy of the questionnaire, please contact  Michael E. Clark, Ph.D., Clinical Director, Chronic Pain Rehabilitation Prog., James A. Haley VA Hosp., Assoc Prof., Univ. of So. Florida, Tampa FL  Phone: 813-972-2000, ext 7484  e-mail Michael.Clark8@va.gov 

    • West Haven-Yale Multidimensional Pain Inventory  The West Haven-Yale Multidimensional Pain Inventory (WHYMPI/MPI) is a brief, psychometrically-sound measure of several important aspects of the chronic pain experience.  

  • Treatment Resources

Clinical Practice Guidelines

Links to Other Clinical Resources

  • Chronic Pain Rehabilitation Program * The Chronic Pain Rehabilitation Program (CPRP) is an award-winning, comprehensive, inpatient pain treatment program established in 1988 to help veterans with chronic pain cope with their conditions. National referrals welcome. For more information on the CPRP and referrals please visit: www.tampa.va.gov/chronicpain/ 
  • American Chronic Pain Association * The American Chronic Pain Association (ACPA) is a non-profit, tax exempt organization providing a support system for those suffering with chronic pain through education and self-help group activities.
  • City of Hope Palliative Care Resource Web Site * This web page contains a collection of links to a broad range of resources for the assessment and treatment of pain. Although the primary focus of the site is palliative care, it provides a significant number of links to general pain management resources.
  • IASP Pain Definitions * A sample list of frequently used terms from,  Classification of Chronic Pain, Second Edition, IASP Task Force on Taxonomy, edited by H. Merskey and N. Bogduk, IASP Press, Seattle, © 1994, pp 209-214.
  • National Headache Foundation * The National Headache Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating headache sufferers and healthcare professionals about headache causes and treatments.

 Professional Societies

  • American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine * AAHPM is an organization of physicians and other medical professionals dedicated to excellence in and advancement of palliative medicine through prevention and relief of patient and family suffering by providing education and clinical practice standards, fostering research, facilitating personal and professional development, and by public policy advocacy.

  • American Headache Society * AHS is a professional society of health care providers dedicated to the study and treatment of headache and face pain.

  • American Pain Society * APS is a multidisciplinary educational and scientific organization dedicated to serving people in pain.

  • American Society of Pain Management Nursing * ASPMN is an organization of professional nurses dedicated to promoting and providing optimal care of individuals with pain, including the management of its sequelae. 

  • American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine * ASRAPM clinical and professional educational needs of physicians and scientists, strives for excellence in patient care utilizing regional anesthesia and pain medicine, and investigates the scientific basis of the specialty.


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