Self-management core curriculum

Context and purpose

Pain BC's Provincial Chronic Pain Self-Management Working Group, comprised of representatives from the regional health authorities’ tertiary chronic pain self-management programs and Pain BC staff, determined that it was valuable to have an evidence-informed common core curriculum as a foundational resource for their programs to use. This resource provides health care providers and managers in these programs with a touchstone document for nine topics, integrating two cross-cutting themes.

The topics were developed from a systematic review of self-management programs for pain, Pain BC’s Pain Support & Wellness Groups, and suggestions from the Self-Management Working Group.

The two cross-cutting themes are:

  • Cultural tailoring – e.g. incorporation of local Indigenous knowledge; translation of material to other languages; discussions of how pain impacts people different based on culture.
  • Whole health approach – i.e. that health incorporates our body, mind, spirit, our environment, our community, our relationships, and the kind of care we receive (see “The Circle of Health” from the VA’s “Personal Health Inventory,” 2019).


Self-management core curriculum modules:


The final document for each topic includes a cited summary of key points from the literature, recommended learning objectives for participants, resources and tools for patients and program facilitators recommended by working group members. They also include a complete list of references, incorporating the lenses of cultural tailoring and a whole health approach. The long-term goal is for these documents to be updated every couple of years, to incorporate new research evidence and resources.