Update March 13, 2014

The Inter-disciplinary Workshop for Health Professionals, Making Sense of Pain, was organised by Dr John Quintner (Pain Medicine physician) and Melanie Galbraith (Physiotherapist).

The Workshop was sponsored by Arthritis and Osteoporosis WA and held at the Wyllie Arthritis Centre, 7th and 8th March 2014.

Key presenters were John, Melanie, Mary Roberts (Psychologist), Jane Muirhead (Occupational Therapist) and Vance Locke (Academic Psychologist) were key presenters.

Vanessa Watson and Eva Miller were our two Pain Champions who told their stories and engaged with the Health Professionals on the second day of the workshop.

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Event Description

The aim of this workshop is to provide physiotherapists and other health professionals with an opportunity to effectively translate their knowledge and skills into clinical practice. Of equal importance is that they become aware of their own beliefs and attitudes to people in pain and the potential for these attributes to colour therapeutic relationships and influence outcomes.

Event Information

On completion of the course the participant will be able to:

(a) understand the current status of Pain Medicine theory in terms of its relative strengths and weaknesses

(b) understand the potential role of dysregulated stress response systems in the symptomatology of chronic widespread pain (Fibromyalgia Syndrome)

(c) accurately assess the impact of chronic pain on the individual across social, psychological, medical and functional parameters (including standardized outcome measures)

(d) promote behavioural change and institute self-management strategies (participants will be exposed to motivational interviewing, mindfulness practice, relaxation, and techniques of education to promote behavioural change) and to know when referral to other health professionals might be indicated

(e) have gained a deeper understanding of the subjective experience of the person in pain

(f) be more aware of his/her personal attitude(s) and communication style when interacting with chronic pain sufferers

(g) understand the centrality of the therapeutic alliance in effecting positive change outcomes

(h) better communicate with the person in pain based on an understanding of empathy in all its connotations

(i) provide a person in pain with an accurate, empathic, and confident explanation of their predicament


DR JOHN QUINTNER FFPMANZCA: Consultant Physician in Pain Medicine & Rheumatology. Many years in private consulting practice in Rheumatology and latterly as a Physician, Pain Medicine Unit, Fremantle Hospital. Co-author of a significant number of clinical and research publications in the area of chronic pain. Helped pioneer STEPS program at Fremantle Hospital, as well as gPEP and Rural Road Show.

MS JANE MUIRHEAD: Occupational Therapist Jane has more than 20 years experience working in chronic pain management, originally training in CBT pain management at a National Research programme INPUT, at St Thomas Hospital London.  Since then she has worked on a number of pain management programmes in Western Australia, and has also worked in vocational rehabilitation settings.  Jane also has an extensive background in mental health as Head of Occupational Therapy Services, Dept of Psychiatry SCGH for 5 years, and as a counsellor working with GPs in Fremantle. Jane now runs her own private practice Easpain, (Education and Support for Pain) and is leading a Telethon funded research programme in partnership with Arthritis & Osteoporosis WA to pilot educational workshops

MS MELANIE GALBRAITH BSc (Physio). Senior physiotherapist with 20 years experience of treating people with musculoskeletal conditions in Scotland, England and Australia.  Was attached to Fremantle Hospital Pain Medicine Unit for several years where she was extensively involved in the management of patients with chronic pain, both individually and in groups. Her main research interest is the untoward effect of chronic pain on functional movement and how targeted interventions can improve the situation. Melanie’s ability to connect at many levels with people in pain has made her a much sought-after educator.

ASSOC-PROFESSOR VANCE LOCKE BA, MPsych, PhD. Extensive clinical experience in pain management, many years of teaching experience, several teaching awards and many academic publications.

MS MARY ROBERTS BA Hons (Psych) Psychologist, PhD candidate and Clinical Psychology Trainee, Murdoch University. Mary has had 5 years experience working with people with persistent pain, conducting group programmes that target pain management, sleep problems and stress management. She also works as a health researcher and has been involved with a number of clinical trials involving adults and children with chronic pain, both at Fremantle Hospital and the Arthritis Foundation of Western Australia. Her own PhD research is investigating sleep disorders in patients with chronic pain through the Pain Medicine Unit, Fremantle Hospital and Murdoch University. She is the recipient of a PhD scholarship from the Australian Pain Society. Mary also has experience in the general field of adult mental health through Graylands Hospital.

Please click here for a registration form, or for more information please contact John 0419 956 418 or email jqu33431@bigpond.net.au

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