Persistent Pain Service

Persistent pain is complex, therefore our persistent pain service consists of a team of professionals with different backgrounds. These professionals are used to dealing with persistent pain problems.

In Taranaki, the core team usually includes an anaesthetist/pain specialist, psychologist, physiotherapist and a persistent pain educator.


Chronic Pain
Persistent Pain Management and Referral Guidelines (PDF 56KB)
Pain Screening Questionnaire (OMPSQ) (PDF 75KB)
Triple Assessment
PUEA Pain Management Programme
PEP Pain Education Programme
Contact Us

Triple Assessment

The multidisciplinary ‘Triple Assessment’ includes three separate appointments, each taking 60 minutes over the course of a morning. The aim of the assessment is to ensure that the pain problem is addressed and options are provided for the management of the pain. This may include an explanation, ways of self management plus treatments.

Persistent pain can often only be helped by small changes in many areas. Some of these may involve lifestyle changes and reading materials are often included.

For more information please refer to the Triple Assessment brochure.

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PUEA Pain Management Programme

Taranaki DHB offers a programme to help patients manage persistent pain.
More than 20% of New Zealanders suffer from chronic pain, which can affect the ability to work and cause much distress.

The PUEA (Pain: Understand, Exercise and Adapt) 10-week programme runs over 16 days and is the first in New Zealand to be held in this format.

The group sessions include educational sessions with topics such as:

  • An overview of pain management philosophy
  • Pain physiology
  • Making changes
  • Activity tolerance setting
  • Exploring thoughts and feelings
  • Sleep strategies
  • Medication and reducing medications
  • Healthy living
  • Posture
  • Ergonomics
  • Fitness
  • Tissue healing and anatomy
  • Investigations
  • Vocational education
  • Sexual issues

In addition to this there are sessions focusing on coping skills and an exercise programme.

PUEA, which means “to rise up” in Maori, aims to help people understand their pain and build on self management strategies so they can continue to function despite the pain.

The PUEA team consists of Pain Specialists/Anaesthetists, a Persistent Pain Educator, a Physiotherapist, and a Psychologist. Invited speakers including past participants may also be involved in the programme.

Patients are referred to the persistent pain service - they are assessed and interviewed by the multidisciplinary team for their suitability to attend the programme.

The PUEA programme can take up to 10 people. Their pain would have persisted for more than three months, and may be the result of an injury or other condition. They may have had surgery and be taking medication for their pain.

hawera hospital brochure
PUEA Brochure
(PFD 135 KB)

PUEA programme participants are encouraged and taught how to self manage their pain, in order to increase their level of functioning – the programme is not about finding a cure.

For more information please refer to the PUEA brochure.

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PEP - Pain Education Programme

Pep (Pain Education Programme) is a shorter, more educationally based pain management programme. It runs in addition to our standard 10 week pain management programme PUEA.

Like PUEA, PEP is designed for adults with persistent pain, and uses a primarily cognitive behavioural approach to the management of pain. However, it is best suited to people who are not severely disabled or distressed by their pain. Participants may be in employment.

The programme runs on Tuesdays from 12pm - 2pm over a five week period. Sessions will be held at Base Hospital, New Plymouth. Up to 20 participants are welcome to attend the whole programme, or self selected sessions.

The programme will be led by the TDHB Persistent Pain Team which includes, Doctors, a Physiotherapist, a Clinical Psychologist and a Pain Educator.

The sessions include topics such as:

  • Understanding Pain
  • Pacing
  • Sleeping
  • Medications
  • Flare Ups
  • Thoughts and Feelings

Handouts and worksheets will be provided.

Participants can also self refer and in addition, staff wishing to update their knowledge and skills in this area are welcome to attend. For more details about this course, and when it is next running, contact our Pain Educator on the details below.

Find us:

The appointment with the Pain Specialist / Anaesthetist / Pschologist and Physiotherapist for the Triple Assessment is held at the main outpatients department at Taranaki Base Hospital.

The persistent pain educator is located in the Physiotherapy Department, on Level Two of Taranaki Base Hospital.

Click here to vist the Maps page

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Contact us:

Persistent Pain Service
Persistent Pain Educator
Phone 06 7537742 ext 7532

Last updated: Wednesday, August 13, 2014

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