Select Page

How to prepare for the EDPN

Core Curriculum 

The Examination for the European Diploma in Pain Nursing (EDPN) is based on the accompanying Core Curriculum. The best place to start when preparing for the Examination is to read the Core Curriculum to ensure that your professional experience and knowledge reflects the Curriculum headings and competencies necessary for attainment of the diploma. 

Reading materials 

Participants are advised to study the recommended reading list below. Please be aware; this is a dynamic reading list and participants are asked to check for changes and additions on a regular basis. As the Examination is designed to test actual experience of assessing and managing patients, learning materials may help you prepare and refresh your memory of important subjects, but actual clinical experience is a pre-requisite. 

Virtual Summit 

EFIC organise a virtual summit every year where we do not hold a congress. The virtual summit is an educational event where all of the learning is based upon the EFIC curricula. The summit programme covers different areas of the EFIC curricula each year, providing a valuable studying opportunity for anyone wishing to prepare for the Examinations. The programme is organised in one-hour modules composed of 10-15 minutes sessions. 

Academy Education Platform 

Members of the EFIC Academy gain access to the EFIC Academy Education Platform, where all of our online learning materials are hosted, organised along the lines of our curricula. You can catch up on all previous EFIC virtual summits, as well as viewing webinars and additional content provided only for the Platform.  The Academy Education Platform is the ideal place to prepare for the Examinations. 

Congress Refresher Courses 

If you have a chance to attend a Congress of the European Pain Federation EFIC, we recommend you attend the Refresher Courses. The Courses are be developed in line with the Core Curriculum and will serve as a good ‘prep course’ for potential Examination attendees. 

EDPN Reading List

Core Resource to Prepare for the EPDN  

EFIC Academy 

Sources of Evidence 



Guidance on Measurement 

Healthcare Quality Improvement Projects 

Faculty of Pain Medicine Core Standards for Pain Management Services in the UK 

Core Texts for Pain  

Ballantyne JC Fishman SM, Rathmell JP (2018) Bonica’s Management of Pain Philadephia, PA, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins  

Bennett M, Eisenberg E, Ahmedzai S et al (2018) Standards for the management of cancer-related pain across Europe- A position paper from the EFIC Task Force on  

Cancer Pain. European Journal of Pain 23(4) 660-668 

Carr E, Layzell M, Christensen M (2010) Advancing Nursing Practice in Pain Management. Oxford, Wiley Blackwell  

Crabtree D, Ganty P, (2016) Common functional pain syndromes, BJA Education, 16(10)334–340, 

Fallon M, Giusti R, Hoskin P, Sharma M, Ripamonti C (2018) Management of cancer pain in adult patients: ESMO Clinical Practice Guidelines. Annals of Oncology 29(supp 4) iv166-191 

Macintyre P, Schug S (2021) Acute Pain Management: A practical Guide 5th Edition. CRC Press Boca Raton FL.   

Ritter JM, Flower RJ, Henderson G et al (2023) Rang and Dale’s Pharmacology 10th edition. Amsterdam, Elsevier  


Additional Resources:  

British Pain Society (2018) Pre-registration Core Curricula for Health Care Professionals. British Pain Society London 

European Pain Federation (2019) European Pain Federation Core Curriculum for the European Diploma in Pain Nursing. EFIC 

European Pain Federation (2019) European Pain Federation Core Curriculum for the European Diploma in Pain Psychology. EFIC 

European Pain Federation (2017) European Pain Federation Core Curriculum for the European Diploma in Pain Physiotherapy. EFIC 

European Pain Federation (2016) European Pain Federation Core Curriculum for the European Diploma in Pain Medicine. EFIC 

Royal College of Nursing (2015) RCN Pain Knowledge and Skills Framework for the Nursing Team. Royal College of Nursing London. 


Acute Pain Resources  

American Pain Society (2016) Guidelines on the Management of Postoperative pain. Journal of Pain 17 (2) 131-157 

ANZCA (2020) Acute Pain Management: Scientific Evidence Fourth Edition. Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists 

Bowen, J., Levy, N. and Macintyre, P. (2020), Opioid-induced ventilatory impairment: current ‘track and trigger’ tools need to be updated. Anaesthesia, 75: 1574-1578. 

Gregory J, McGowan L (2016) An examination of the prevalence of acute pain for hospitalised adult patients: a systematic review. Journal of Clinical Nursing 25, 583-589 

Brennan, Timothy J.; Pogatzki-Zahn, Esther M. (2017). FACT SHEET No. 3  

Pathophysiology of Acute Postoperative Pain. International Association for the Study of Pain. 

Pogatzki-Zahn, Esther M.; Segelcke, Daniel; Schug, Stephan A. (2017). Postoperative pain—from mechanisms to treatment. PAIN Reports 2(2):p e588, March/April 2017. | DOI: 10.1097/PR9.0000000000000588 

Schug SA, Bruce J. Risk stratification for the development of chronic postsurgical pain. PAIN Reports 2(6):p e627, November/December 2017. | DOI: 10.1097/PR9.0000000000000627 


Cancer Related Pain  

Brown M, Farquhar-Smith P. Pain in cancer survivors; filling in the gaps. British Journal of Anaesthesia. 2017;119(4):723- 736. 

Davies A, Dickman A, Reid C, et al. (2009) The management of cancer-related breakthrough pain: recommendations of a task group of the Science Committee of the Association for Palliative Medicine of Great Britain and Ireland. European Journal of Pain 2009;13:331–8 

Galligan M (2020) Prescribing for persistent cancer pain: focus on chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy. Journal of Prescribing Practice 2 (4) 176 – 180 

Schmidt, B. L., Hamamoto, D. T., Simone, D. A., & Wilcox, G. L. (2010). Mechanism of cancer pain. Molecular Interventions, 10(3), 164–78. 

Sun V, Borneman T, Piper B, Koczywas M, Ferrell B. (2008) Barriers to pain assessment and management in cancer survivorship. Journal of Cancer Survivorship. 2008;2(1):65-71.  

Opioids and Analgesia  

Levy, N., Quinlan, J., El-Boghdadly, K., Fawcett, W.J., Agarwal, V., Bastable, R.B., Cox, F.J., de Boer, H.D., Dowdy, S.C., Hattingh, K., Knaggs, R.D., Mariano, E.R., Pelosi, P., Scott, M.J., Lobo, D.N. and Macintyre, P.E. (2021), An international multidisciplinary consensus statement on the prevention of opioid-related harm in adult surgical patients. Anaesthesia, 76: 520-536. 

Liu S, Athar A., Quach D, Patanwala AE, et al . (2023), Risks and benefits of oral modified-release compared with oral immediate-release opioid use after surgery: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Anaesthesia, 78: 1225-1236. 

Levy N, Lord J, & Lobo DN (2021). UK recommendations on opioid stewardship. BMJ, m4901. 

Donnelly A, Cox FJ. Raising patient and carer awareness of the risks of postoperative opioids. British Journal of  Pain. 2022 Jun;16(3):260-262. doi: 10.1177/20494637221103169. Epub 2022 May 15. PMID: 35646338; PMCID: PMC9136994. 

Forget P, Patullo C, Hill D, et al  System-level policies on appropriate opioid use, a multi-stakeholder consensus. BMC Health Services Research. 2022 Mar 12;22(1):329. doi: 10.1186/s12913-022-07696-x. PMID: 35277160; PMCID: PMC8917639. 

Faculty of Pain Medicine, Royal College of Anaesthetists: Opioids Aware. Retrieved February 10, 2016, from 


Neuropathic Pain 

Fallon MT (2013) Neuropathic pain in cancer. British Journal of Anaesthesia. 111(1):105-111. 

James N. Campbell, R. A. M. (2006). Mechanisms of Neuropathic Pain. Neuron, 52(1), 77. 

Truini A, Aleksovska K, Anderson CC, et al  Joint European Academy of Neurology- 

European Pain Federation-Neuropathic Pain Special Interest Group of the International Association for the Study of Pain guidelines on neuropathic pain assessment. Eur J Neurol. 2023 Aug;30(8):2177-2196. 


Staff Education  

Bouya S. Balouchi A, Maleknejad Koochakzai M. et al (2019) Cancer Pain Management Among Oncology Nurses: Knowledge, Attitude, Related Factors, and Clinical Recommendations: a Systematic Review. Journal of Cancer Education 34 (5) 839 – 846 

Drake G, de C Williams AC.(2017)  Nursing Education Interventions for Managing Acute Pain in Hospital Settings: A Systematic Review of Clinical Outcomes and Teaching Methods. Pain Management Nursing. Feb;18(1):3-15.  

Ung A, Salamonson Y, Hu W, Gallego G (2016) Assessing knowledge, perceptions and attitudes to pain management among medical and nursing students: a review of the literature. British Journal of Pain 10 (1) 8 – 21 

McCaffery M, Ferrell B (1997) Nurses’ Knowledge of pain assessment and management: How much progress have we made? Journal of Pain and Symptom Management 14 (3) 175-188 

Rababa M, Al-Sabbah S, Hayajneh AA. Nurses’ Perceived Barriers to and Facilitators of Pain Assessment and Management in Critical Care Patients: A Systematic Review. J Pain Res. 2021 Nov 5;14:3475-3491.  


Patient Education  

Lennox Thompson B, Gage J& Kirk R (2020) Living well with chronic pain: a classical grounded theory, Disability and Rehabilitation, 42:8, 1141-1152 

Sinatti P, Sánchez Romero EA, Martínez-Pozas O, Villafañe JH. (2022) Effects of Patient Education on Pain and Function and Its Impact on Conservative Treatment in Elderly Patients with Pain Related to Hip and Knee Osteoarthritis: A Systematic Review. Int J Environ Res Public Health. May 19;19(10):6194.  

Health Care Association (2021). Patient Education Practice Guidelines. 

The NHS Constitution. Health literacy ‘how to’ guide. 

Korfan, Rhami; Shallcross, Meagan L.; Yu, Benjamin; Sanchez, Nicholas; Parilla Shelby; Coughlin, Julia M.; Johnson, Julie K.; Bilimoria, Karl Y. Stulberg, Jonah J (2020). Preoperative patient education and patient preparedness are associated with less postoperative use of opioids. Surgery 167 (2020) 852e858 

Patak, Lance S.; Tait, Alan R.; Mirafzali, Leela; Morris, Michelle; Dasgupta, Sunavo; Brummet, Chad M. (2013). Patient Perspectives of Patient-Controlled Analgesia (PCA) and Methods for Improving Pain Control and Patient Satisfaction. Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine. 2013 ; 38(4): 326–333. doi:10.1097/AAP.0b013e318295fd50 

Horn, Audrey; Kaneshiro, Kelly; Tsui, Ban C.H. (2020). Preemptive and Preventive Pain Psychoeducation and Its Potential Application as a Multimodal Perioperative Pain Control Option: A Systematic Review. Anesthesia & Analgesia. 130 (3): 559-573 

Weiss, Barry D. (2012). Health literacy and patient safety: Help patients understand. EDS: American Medical Association Foundation and American Medical Association 


Special Patient Populations  

Gregory, J. (2015). The complexity of pain assessment in older people. Nursing Older People, 27(8), 16-21. 

Saltnes-Lillegård C, Rustøen T, Beitland S, et al (2023) Self-reported symptoms experienced by intensive care unit patients: a prospective observational multicenter study. Intensive Care Medicine.Oct 9.  

Schofield P, Docking R, Cox F et al (2018) The Assessment of Pain in Older People: UK National Guidelines. Age & Ageing. Mar 1;47(suppl_1):i1-i22. doi: 10.1093/ageing/afx192. PMID: 29579142; PMCID: PMC5888957. 

Schofield P, Dunham M, Martin D, et al. (2022) Evidence-based clinical practice guidelines on the management of pain in older people – a summary report. British Journal of Pain.;16(1):6-13. doi:10.1177/2049463720976155 

Quinlan J, Cox F. (2017) Acute pain management in patients with drug dependence syndrome. Pain Reports. 2017 Jul 27;2(4):e611.  

de C Williams AC, Hughes J.(2020) Improving the assessment and treatment of pain in torture survivors. BJA Education. Apr;20(4):133-138.  

Valsø Å, Rustøen T, Småstuen MC, et al (2022) Occurrence and characteristics of pain after ICU discharge: A longitudinal study. Nursing in Critical Care. Sep;27(5):718-727. doi: 10.1111/nicc.12701. Epub 2021 Aug 12. PMID: 


Additional Articles of Interest  

Nicholas, Michael et al. “The IASP Classification of Chronic Pain for ICD-11: Chronic Primary Pain.” Pain (Amsterdam) 160.1 (2019): 28–37. 

Galligan M (2020) Care and management of patients receiving epidural analgesia. Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2020.e11573 

Cox F. An overview of pain assessment and management. Nursing Standard. 2022 Mar 30. doi: 10.7748/ns.2022.e11936. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35352514.