Chronic Pain Syndrome

Chronic Pain Syndrome



Nursing Diagnosis: Chronic Pain Syndrome, also known as chronic pain condition (CPC), is a syndrome characterized by persistent or recurrent moderate to severe pain in the body. The pain can be accompanied by changes in mood such as depression, anxiety, irritability, or decreased quality of life. This diagnosis requires careful consideration of both physical and psychological factors in order to provide effective care.

Nursing Diagnosis Definition

Nursing Diagnosis: Chronic Pain Syndrome is defined as a state in which an individual experiences persistent or recurrent pain of at least moderate intensity lasting for long durations – weeks, months and even years. It is often associated with increased physical, mental and social impairments.

Defining Characteristics


  • Perception of pain on a daily basis, or occurrence of pain on multiple occasions within a given time period
  • Reports of pain which lasts for 30 minutes or more
  • Reports of pain which limits daily activities
  • Reports of pain accompanied by emotional distress such as depression, irritability and fatigue


  • Changes in facial expressions such as frowning or grimacing when describing one’s experience with the pain
  • Limited range of motion due to painful movements
  • Limitation of activity or performance
  • Changes in sleep patterns

Related Factors

  • Physical and Psychological Problems: Chronic pain can be caused by either physiological or psychological conditions such as arthritis, cancer, fibromyalgia, injury, infection, post-operative pain, phantom limb pain, depression, and anxiety.
  • Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms: Unhealthy coping strategies such as denial, resistance, and avoidance can intensifiy the pain and slow down the healing process.

Risk Population

Patients at risk of developing chronic pain syndrome are those who already have an existing pain condition, have suffered traumatic events or life changes, or are under prolonged or excessive psychological stress. People who misuse drugs or alcohol, or suffer from insomnia or depression are also at higher risk for chronic pain.

Associated Problems

Individuals with chronic pain syndrome may be at risk for developing secondary health problems such as musculoskeletal disabilities, reduced mobility, decreased concentration, reduced appetite, disturbed sleep, increased susceptibility to infections, and/or depression.

Suggested Use

The primary focus of care for patients with chronic pain syndrome should be to identify and treat the underlying cause of the pain, provide education regarding the condition and management strategies, provide psychological and emotional support, and create a supportive environment in which the patient can heal.

Suggested Alternative Nursing Diagnoses

  • Chronic Pain: A condition in which pain persists for more than six months, or recurs frequently.
  • Pain, Acute: An intense, localized discomfort that occurs suddenly and resolves quickly.
  • Pain, Breakthrough: Sudden onset of acute pain in a person already experiencing chronic pain.
  • Ineffective Health Maintenance: An ineffective pattern of health maintenance due to inadequate or inappropriate health practices.

Usage Tips

  • Communicate the diagnosis in a straightforward manner so the patient can understand it
  • Follow up with the patient continuously to assess the progress of their pain management plan
  • Encourage the patient to pursue healthy lifestyle habits such as regular exercise and healthy diet to reduce pain severity
  • Prescribe appropriate analgesics or other treatments as required to reduce pain symptoms

NOC Results

  • Pain Management: Ability to manage the intensity and duration of pain.
  • Quality of Life: Evaluation of one’s satisfaction with daily activities.
  • Psychological Adjustment: Level of adaptation to psychosocial stressors.
  • Sleep/Rest Pattern: Frequency, duration and quality of sleep/rest periods.

NIC Interventions

  • Pain Management: Strategies to achieve optimal comfort such as medications, analgesics, hot/cold compresses, relaxation techniques.
  • Rehabilitation Education: Development of skills and knowledge related to self-care and problem solving.
  • Emotional Support: Provision of an emotionally supportive environment, which includes expressing understanding and concern about the patient’s situation.
  • Stress Management: Assistance in identifying and controlling stress through the use of techniques such as progressive muscle relaxation, leisure activities and positive self-talk.


Nursing Diagnosis: Chronic Pain Syndrome is a complex diagnosis which requires careful assessment and consideration of multiple factors in order to provide effective care to a patient. Nurses should strive to empower patients with knowledge and practical tools which they can apply to manage their pain and improve their quality of life.


  • What is Nursing Diagnosis? NANDA is a guide of standardized nursing language used to describe patient care. It's used to develop individualized care plans.
  • What is Chronic Pain Syndrome? Chronic Pain Syndrome is a condition that involves persistent or recurrent pain of at least moderate intensity lasting for long durations.
  • What are some treatment strategies for chronic pain syndrome? Treatment strategies for chronic pain syndrome can include medications, rehabilitation education, emotional support, and stress management.

Isabella White

Hello to all nursing enthusiasts! I'm Isabella White and I'm thrilled to welcome you to this space dedicated to the exciting world of nursing. Let me share a little about myself and what we can expect together on this journey. About Me: Nursing is more than just a profession to me, it's a calling. When I'm not caring for my patients or learning more about health and wellness, you'll find me enjoying the great outdoors, exploring new trails in nature, or savoring a good cup of coffee with close friends. I believe in the balance between caring for others and self-care, and I'm here to share that philosophy with you. My Commitment to You: In this space, I commit to being your reliable guide in the world of nursing. Together, we'll explore health topics, share practical tips, and support each other on our journeys to wellness. But we'll also celebrate life beyond the hospital walls, finding moments of joy in the everyday and seeking adventures that inspire us to live fully. In summary, this is a place where nursing meets life, where we'll find support, inspiration, and hopefully a little fun along the way. Thank you for joining me on this exciting journey. Welcome to a world of care, knowledge, and connection! Sincerely, Isabella White

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