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Although there are several Web sites related to pain management, the following were chosen for their broad approach and user-friendly style.


National Guideline Clearinghouse


The National Guideline Clearinghouse (NGC) makes evidence-based clinical practice guidelines and related abstracts, summary, and comparison materials widely available.


NGC is operated by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), a branch of the Department of Health and Human Services in partnership with the American Medical Association and the American Association of Health Plans. The NGC database contains evidence-based clinical practice guidelines as defined by the Institute of Medicine:


"Clinical practice guidelines are systematically developed statements to assist practitioner and patient decisions about appropriate health care for specific clinical circumstances" (IOM, 1990; p. 38).


Searches can be conducted for guidelines by Disease/Condition, Treatment/Intervention, Organization, or Key Word(s), and results may be viewed by Brief Summary or Complete Summary. For example, users can go to the "Acute pain management" Web page at the University of Iowa Gerontological Nursing Interventions Research Center or to the "Chronic pain management in the long-term care setting" Web page at the American Medical Directors Association-to find pain management guidelines.


Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality


Includes guides for acute pain/post-operative pain (either adult or pediatric) and a descriptive overview of pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic interventions with treatment guidelines, as well as tables that include samples of assessment tools and interventions for cancer pain management. These documents are for nursing and medical professionals, are clearing written, and include thorough citations.


University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center or search at


Visitors at this site can review the Brief Pain Inventory (BPI), the Brief Fatigue Inventory (BFI), and the M. D. Anderson Symptom Inventory, including current validity for the instruments among various ethnic/clinical groups and in multiple languages. PDF copies of the BPI or BFI are available as free down-loads; free copies of the Symptom Inventory can be ordered.




WebMD Health is a national newscenter on the Web, with a content focus on health. The search engine's results of the key word "pain management" includes many full-text links to online copies of resources such as the NIH "Quick Reference Guide" on Pain Management in Cancer Therapy (coauthored by Ada Jacox, RN) and the recent article, "Describing Pain," by Haylock & Curtiss (both RNs).


National Foundation for the Treatment of Pain


This site provides five main sections: Perspectives in Intractable Pain Management, Essential Considerations in the Treatment of Intractable Pain, Pain Treatment Advocacy, Correspondence and Outreach, and News on Pain Issues. Links with various sites specific to different types of pain, including migraine headaches, are available.


Mayo Clinic


The Mayo Clinic site provides a good generic, nonprofessional overview of pain management, as well the option to condut searches.




1. Institute of Medicine (IOM). (1990). Clinical practice guidelines: Directions for a new program. M. S. Field & K. N. Lohr (Eds.). Washington, DC: National Academy Press. [Context Link]