Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  1. Recognize that all patients have a right to receive appropriate treatment for pain
  2. Recognize the risk of disparate treatment that can be experienced by minority patients and those with low socioeconomic means
  3. Apply a multidimensional model of pain assessment that encompasses sensory, affective, and behavioral/functional domains
  4. Conduct appropriate screening/surveillance/monitoring in keeping with current practice guidelines including identification of aberrant drug-related behavior
  5. Provide safe and effective pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic treatments in the management of sickle cell disease related pain

Target Audiences

  • Medical students: 3rd – 4th year
  • Dental students: 1-4th year
  • Pharmacy students: 2-4th year
  • Nursing students: 
    • RN entry level nursing  students: selected clinical courses
    • Advanced Nursing Practice graduate students: clinical management courses; 
    • Other graduate nursing students: selected clinical leader/nurse educator courses. 
  • Psychology students: Graduate 2nd-4th year
  • Social Work students:  Concentration / Second Year MSW students
  • Practicing Physicians, Nurses, Dentists, Pharmacists, Psychologists, and Social Workers


This multi-faceted patient vignette focuses on the care of a young man with acute on chronic pain associated with Sickle Cell Disease (SCD).  It  simulates the complexity of care for this patient population in a longitudinal, disease management context. Complex care requires inter-professional teamwork and planning. Nuances embedded within this case call upon knowledge, critical thinking, and skills outside of the individual's normal professional purview.

Competencies required for the successful completion of this module will be based on the following resources as they apply to the unique, biopsychosocial nature of both the acute and chronic pain experience for individuals with SSD.  

  1. Interprofessional Pain Curriculum Outline. International Association for the Study of Pain. www.iasp-pain.org. Accessed May 6, 2012. 
  2. Fishman SM, Young HM, Lucas Arwood E, Chou R, Herr K, et al.  Core competencies for pain management: Results of an interprofessional consensus summit. Pain Med 2013 [epub ahead of print].
  3. National Institutes of Health. The Management of Sickle Cell Disease. 4th ed. Bethesda, MD: National Heart, Lung, & Blood Institute; 2002:59-74. NIH Publication 02-2117.
  4. Rees DC, Olujohungbe AD, Parker NE, et al Guidelines for the management of the acute painful crisis in sickle cell disease. Br J Haematol. 2003;120:744-752.

Summary Statement

‘Devon’s Disparate Dealings: Sickle Cell Disease and Pain’ presents the case of a 15-year-old black male with sickle cell disease who presents to the emergency department in severe pain.  This multi-faceted patient vignette simulates the complexity of care for this patient population in a longitudinal, disease management context.  Guidelines and literature are described to guide the management of all aspects of managing pain in a sickle cell patient. This interactive online scenario-based learning experience may be completed by medical, dental, pharmacy, nursing, psychology, and social work students and practitioners.  The online case is completed individually and includes a pre- and post-test, reflective statements and multiple interactive learning assessments.  It is anticipated that this case may be completed as a stand alone learning experience or embedded within pre-existing curricula.  The case, learning activities, and assessment questions should take approximately 1.5 hours to complete.


This curriculum resource was supported with funding from the NIH Pain Consortium, which approves the educational value of the information provided. The authors listed on this resource are responsible for its content, and questions may be directed to their Center of Excellence in Pain Education. The NIH Pain Consortium provides these evidence-based curriculum resources on pain management as a service to academic medical, dental, nursing, pharmacy and other health professional schools.

This resource is for educational purposes and is not intended as medical practice guidelines. Evidence-based practices may have changed since the publication of the resource.

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