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A free online accredited CPD program for healthcare professionals

Pain in Women: Reducing Gender Bias in Diagnosis and Over-the-Counter Treatment

1.00 Canadian Council On Continuing Education In Pharmacy (CCCEP) CEU(s) / 1.00 Ordre des pharmaciens du Québec (OPQ) CEU(s)

Program available online until: October 18, 2018

This continuing education lesson is designed primarily for pharmacists and has been accredited by the Canadian Council on Continuing Education in Pharmacy (CCCEP)
for 1.00 CEU(s).

This continuing education activity has been accredited by l'Ordre des Pharmaciens du Quebec, which will grant 1.00 CEU(s) to pharmacists who have completed it successfully.

Assessing and Treating Pain in Women


Pain is a complex, subjective phenomenon that is experienced and measured only by the patient. The expression of pain by the patient must be interpreted by the healthcare team. Individual differences in pain sensitivity are a clinical challenge for healthcare professionals because the process of communicating pain is vulnerable to bias. Indeed, evidence shows that gender bias exists in pain assessment and treatment in the healthcare system. In general, women are more sensitive to pain and report pain more often, but are also seen as more emotional and more likely to exaggerate pain compared with men. This program provides an overview of gender bias that exists in pain treatment and strategies for mitigating this bias. Participants will also learn about over-the-counter pain relief medications available in Canada and how they can be used most effectively for female patients.

Planning Committee

  • Dustin Costescu, MD, FRCSC.
  • Jessie Haggai, B.Sc.Pharm, CDE.
  • Rick Siemens, B.Sc. Pharm., B.Sc. Biol., CDE, CPT.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this program, participants will be able to:

  1. Properly assess pain in female patients aged 25 to 50 to help improve their quality of life;
  2. Differentiate between the range of available over-the-counter pain medications, especially acetaminophen- and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory-related products;
  3. Recommend the most effective over-the-counter pain medication for a number of common patient pain complaints seen in community pharmacies;
  4. Explain how women experience and communicate about pain.

Ask the Expert

  • How do you detect and address gender bias in your own practice?
  • Which pain assessment tools do you find most useful in the context of a community pharmacy?
  • What pain relief should community pharmacists recommend to patients with pain complaints, while waiting for a primary care appointment or for a diagnosis?
  • How do you measure success in pain relief treatment?
  • How do you treat menstrual pain?
  • What anxieties and concerns do you encounter from patients with sports injuries?

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