How to prepare for the EDPN
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.
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.
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 https://europeanpainfederation.eu/efic-academy/
Sources of Evidence
ESRA PROSPECT https://esraeurope.org/pain-management/
Guidance on Measurement
Healthcare Quality Improvement Projects https://www.hqip.org.uk/former_programmes/national-pain-audit/
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 https://doi.org/10.1002/ejp.1346
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, https://doi.org/10.1093/bjaed/mkw010
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 https://doi.org/10.1093/annonc/mdy152
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
British Pain Society (2018) Pre-registration Core Curricula for Health Care Professionals. British Pain Society London https://indd.adobe.com/view/175981e8-79ec-421c-933e-03c0c0e2e74f
European Pain Federation (2019) European Pain Federation Core Curriculum for the European Diploma in Pain Nursing. EFIC https://europeanpainfederation.eu/education/pain-curricula/
European Pain Federation (2019) European Pain Federation Core Curriculum for the European Diploma in Pain Psychology. EFIC https://europeanpainfederation.eu/education/pain-curricula/
European Pain Federation (2017) European Pain Federation Core Curriculum for the European Diploma in Pain Physiotherapy. EFIC https://europeanpainfederation.eu/education/pain-curricula/
European Pain Federation (2016) European Pain Federation Core Curriculum for the European Diploma in Pain Medicine. EFIC https://europeanpainfederation.eu/education/pain-curricula/
Royal College of Nursing (2015) RCN Pain Knowledge and Skills Framework for the Nursing Team. Royal College of Nursing London. https://www.rcn.org.uk/professional-development/publications/pub-004984
Acute Pain Resources
American Pain Society (2016) Guidelines on the Management of Postoperative pain. Journal of Pain 17 (2) 131-157 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpain.2015.12.008
ANZCA (2020) Acute Pain Management: Scientific Evidence Fourth Edition. Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists https://airr.anzca.edu.au/anzcacrisjspui/handle/11055/1071
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. https://doi.org/10.1111/anae.15030
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 https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&AuthType=sso&db=mdc&AN=26778249&site=eds-live&custid=ns277247
Brennan, Timothy J.; Pogatzki-Zahn, Esther M. (2017). FACT SHEET No. 3
Pathophysiology of Acute Postoperative Pain. International Association for the Study of Pain. https://www.iasp-pain.org/advocacy/global-year/pain-after-surgery/
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. https://doi.org/10.1093/bja/aex202
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 https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&AuthType=sso&db=edselp&AN=S1090380108001481&site=eds-live&custid=ns277247
Galligan M (2020) Prescribing for persistent cancer pain: focus on chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy. Journal of Prescribing Practice 2 (4) 176 – 180 https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&AuthType=sso&db=ccm&AN=142668453&site=eds-live&custid=ns277247
Schmidt, B. L., Hamamoto, D. T., Simone, D. A., & Wilcox, G. L. (2010). Mechanism of cancer pain. Molecular Interventions, 10(3), 164–78. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2895277/pdf/0100164.pdf
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. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11764-008-0047-0
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. https://doi.org/10.1111/anae.15262
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. https://doi.org/10.1111/anae.16085
Levy N, Lord J, & Lobo DN (2021). UK recommendations on opioid stewardship. BMJ, m4901. https://doi.org/10.1136/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 http://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/pdf/FPM-Opioids-Aware-Press-Release.pdf
Fallon MT (2013) Neuropathic pain in cancer. British Journal of Anaesthesia. 111(1):105-111. https://doi.org/10.1093/bja/aet208
James N. Campbell, R. A. M. (2006). Mechanisms of Neuropathic Pain. Neuron, 52(1), 77. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuron.2006.09.021
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. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ene.15831
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 https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&AuthType=sso&db=mdc&AN=30315497&site=eds-live&custid=ns277247
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 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4977961/pdf/10.1177_2049463715583142.pdf
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 https://doi.org/10.1016/S0885-3924(97)00170-X
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.
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. https://www.hcea-info.org/patient-education-practice-guidelines-for-health-care-professionals
The NHS Constitution. Health literacy ‘how to’ guide. www.hee.nhs.uk
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
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.