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Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
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Important information about our services and restrictions on visiting our hospitals can be found in the COVID-19 section.

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Referral criteria

Criteria common to all programmes are:

  • Pain-related disability for three months duration or more
  • A willingness and commitment to work in a group setting
  • Basic command of written and spoken English
  • No further investigations or treatment planned

Criteria according to programmes are as follows.

Inclusion criteria

Get Back Active

Three full days per week programme or six evening sessions.

  • Pain having an impact on quality of life
  • Off work or low level of productivity at home, if working may have had significant periods of sick leave in the last year.
  • Able to walk independently for periods of five minutes without a rest.

Balanced Life

Three half days per week for three weeks.

  • Pain has a significant impact on quality of life
  • May be socially isolated
  • May have a very sedentary lifestyle
  • May be using a walking aid to mobilise
  • May not be able to walk for five minutes uninterrupted
  • Off work or low productivity at home
  • May experience depression or other mental health problems.

Compassion for Pain Group

2.00pm to 4.30pm on Fridays for eight weeks.

This aims to help the patient:

  • better understand and manage feelings
  • develop strategies to relax and reduce distress
  • cope with any feelings of shame, self-loathing and self-criticism
  • build confidence with movement and exercise to assist day-to-day physical function
  • have a more compassionate relationship with their body.

Exclusion criteria

  • Active psychosis
  • Actively suicidal
  • Substance misuse or prescription drug misuse
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Patients with pain which is non-musculoskeletal (e.g. headaches)
  • Patients under 18 years of age

Making a referral

Referrals are accepted from Oxford Pain Management Centre, the Oxfordshire Musculoskeletal Triage and Interface Clinic, and consultants within Oxford University Hospitals. GPs from outside Oxfordshire can make a direct referral.

Although rationalisation of medication is discussed, there is currently not the facility to change patients' drug regimes during the programme, other than by liaison with patients' GPs or with the referring clinicians.