The Persistent Pain Service at Albury Wodonga Health (AWH) offers regional multidisciplinary persistent pain recovery programs based at the Wodonga Hospital.

Programs include:

  • an intensive fulltime residential group program
  • group and individual outpatient programs
  • a virtual pain education program.

Our service continues to evolve with advances in pain science to ensure we provide the most up to date and effective intervention for people experiencing persistent pain. Up until 2020 we delivered 10 fulltime inpatient group programs each year. The Covid-19 pandemic has provided us with the opportunity to review our service provision and develop virtual and face-to-face group and individual programs to complement the gold standard inpatient group program.

We aim to provide timely, evidence-based intervention to individuals with persistent pain conditions which meets best practice and uses a multidisciplinary, biopsychosocial and consumer-focused approach.

Our goal is to:

  • provide understanding of persistent pain, its management and treatment through education based on contemporary pain science
  • enhance self-management and reduce reliance on healthcare providers
  • promote appropriate use of medication and reduce substance dependence
  • improve individuals’ functional performance and quality of life
  • reduce pain and enhance active coping skills
  • improve mood and develop helpful thinking patterns

Our programs are based on the biopsychosocial model of pain.  This model considers the complex interaction of biological, psychological, and social factors contributing to the experience of pain and overall health and wellbeing.  This requires a collaborative team with a variety of skills and training.

Our team comprises:

  • musculoskeletal medicine specialist
  • physiotherapists
  • occupational therapists
  • psychologists
  • registered nurse
  • allied health assistants

Referral Criteria: patients with non-cancer persistent pain are eligible for referral for assessment to determine their readiness and suitability for participation in one of our program pathways.  Not all referrals are appropriate, please see the AWH Referral Criteria on the right. 

Cost: our programs are provided at no cost to public patients. Compensable patients are generally funded by their Workers’ Compensation or third party insurer.

Based on the Mandatory Referral Criteria we accept referrals for persistent or chronic pain in the following categories:

  • pain that requires complex medication management
  • neuropathic pain
  • persistent pain in cancer survivors
  • post-surgical or post-traumatic pain
  • primary pain
  • secondary headache or orofacial pain
  • secondary musculoskeletal pain
  • visceral pain

Referral Process: patients can be referred by their GP, specialist, physiotherapist, psychologist, vocational rehabilitation provider or other health professional.  All referrals  are subject to the Victorian Department of Health, Statewide Referral Criteria (SRC) for public specialist clinics.

Referrers are advised to note the required criteria under each sub-heading at Statewide Referral Criteria for Specialist Clinicst.