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Complex Pain Service

The Complex Pain Service is a specialized service that provides assessment and treatment of children and youth with complex/chronic pain. The CPS team provides family-centred care and offer treatments and therapies based on the best evidence.

The Complex Pain Clinic serves pediatric patients with chronic pain, complex pain, and/or persisting (non-cancer) pain that significantly impairs function. Patients must be BC residents. Patients need to be under 17 years of age when they are referred and can be provided service up to 18 years of age.

Chronic pain is a dynamic phenomenon caused by numerous changes occurring in the peripheral and/or central nervous system. Chronic pain can occur in response to disease, injury and/or loss of function.

Chronic pain persists longer than the expected time frame for healing to occur or recurs and is associated with significant emotional symptoms and/or functional interference with activities of daily life. Complex pain is chronic pain that persists and/or amplified and is not consistent with history and/or physical findings. Despite this, the pain is experienced.

The Complex Pain Service (CPS) approaches to care follow a 3P approach: psychology, physiotherapy/physical activity and pharmacology.

  • Pharmacology to decrease pain, improve sleep, enable movement and increase function.
  • Psychology to provide mind-body techniques, sleep hygiene, address stressors and school reintegration/accommodations.
  • Physiotherapy to guide physical reconditioning, paced return to activity, and school adaptations recommendations.

The Complex Pain Services uses a multi-disciplinary approach to care with a team of medical professionals.

  • Physician(s)
  • Nurse Clinician
  • Physiotherapist
  • Psychologist
  • Administrative Assistant


The Complex Pain Service (CPS) offers a variety of nurse-MD consults, team assessments, ward consults and ongoing care. The consult service focuses on goal setting, symptom reduction and functional improvement for children and youth across the developmental spectrum. We emphasize a shared care model that engages families, children and their community providers in building community capacity to assess and manage complex pain in ways that to ensure integrated pathways back to the community where children live.   

The CPS team aims to collaborate with community services as well as hospital sub-speciality providers to augment and optimize pain care. Out-patient services offer short term treatment and referral to specific treatment groups; physiotherapy (Function First), psychological (pain education support groups) and mind-body techniques (mindfulness).

The CPS recommends these pain resources for patients and families to help cope with complex/chronic pain now.

The CPS works in partnership with the Acute Pain Service, for more information about their services click here.
Acute Pain Service


A completed referral form must be submitted by your healthcare provider. A completed referral includes the fillable form, a letter, and additional consult notes. The form is to be submitted via fax or email. 

For any questions email

2Initial Contact

Once the referral has been reviewed and accepted, a CPS team member will contact the patient. The patient will be required to fill out a baseline questionnaire and return the form to the clinic. 

Once the competed questionnaire is completed, a clinic appointment can be booked for the patient.

3Clinic Visit

The patient's CPS clinic visit is dependent on the needs of the patient and may include different members of the healthcare team. 

The CPS aims to provide a shared-care approach by connecting with the referring healthcare provider to provide continuity of care.

In-patient consultation can be accessed through the Acute Pain Service (APS) team or by the sub-specialty care teams.

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SOURCE: Complex Pain Service ( )
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