Online Education | The Challenge of Pain 2017 - Time to Abandon Pain Intensity as the Primary Chronic Pain Metric?

Graphic of The Challenge of Pain course at UWCNE.
Time to Abandon Pain Intensity as the Primary Chronic Pain Metric?

Course Description

In this module, Dr. Mark Sullivan asks whether a 0-10 pain intensity scale is helpful in assessing and treating chronic pain, and discusses five theses on why it is time to look to alternative assessment metrics.


Mark Sullivan, MD, PhD

Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, UWSOM; Adjunct Professor, Medical History and Ethics, UWSOM; Adjunct Professor, Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, UWSOM

Comments from lecture attendees:

"I appreciated learning about the lack of efficacy in the pain scale."

"I suffer with chronic pain, and I know that when I say I live at a 5, it doesn't seem real or possible to most people. It was excellent to learn about the pain scale as the wrong metric for chronic pain, and to know that there are better alternatives for describing my pain."

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Completion Requirements

To earn contact hours for this activity:

  • View/listen to the presentation.
  • Study the handouts.
  • Complete the evaluation. 

After submitting the evaluation, you can download and print your certificate. A record of contact hours earned will be in your account for six years.   

Target Audience

Nurses, clinical nurse specialists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, physicians, respiratory therapists, psychologists, pharmacists, social workers, physical therapists and other interested healthcare professionals in all settings.

Objectives for Learning Outcomes

After taking this module, you will be better able to:

  1. Describe the history of pain assessment.
  2. Discuss shortcomings of the 0-10 numerical rating scale for chronic pain.
  3. Describe alternative assessment strategies for chronic pain.


Additional Information

Audio and Video
Course summary
Maximum credit available: 
  • 0.73 Contact hours

Available Credit

  • 0.73 Contact hours


Please login or create account to take this course.

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