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Interdisciplinary Persistent Pain Centre

Located at ground floor, Campus Alpha at Robina, the Interdisciplinary Persistent Pain Centre (IPPC) provides support, education and interdisciplinary therapy for people with persistent pain.

Our mission is to inspire hope and get people back to living a valued life through effective evidence-based pain management.

The IPPC offers a holistic approach with the goal of clients improving their wellbeing and quality of life through supported self-management.

Treatment is offered in both group and individual formats to maximise learning and support.

The IPPC services are time-limited. Care will return to the GP within twelve months following initial assessment.

Eligibility and referrals

Patients with persistent pain (lasting for three months or more) where chronic pain in impacts on a patient's physical and/or psychological function and;

  • Patient lives within the catchment area for the Interdisciplinary Persistent Pain Centre, Robina. The catchment for the IPPC includes the following Hospital and Health Service Districts: Gold Coast, Darling Downs, West Moreton and South-West.  It also covers Northern Rivers NSW to Coffs Harbour in the south.

Prior to referral, it is expected that:

  • all active medical investigations and specialist consultations (e.g. orthopaedic, neurosurgery, rheumatology, neurology etc.) are completed
  • Insurance and/or Workers’ Compensation claims related to this chronic pain condition are finalised;
  • acute psychiatric conditions are stable and the patient is engaged in management for this condition;
  • non-therapeutic drug dependence is stable and being treated by a drug and alcohol specialist

Who can refer?

Referrals are accepted from a patient’s GP who remains the primary medical contact for the patient during their program at the IPPC.


Our Services

We offer a variety of group and individual appointments with members of our interdisciplinary team. During your time within the service we can provide you with more detailed explanations of the available services so that you can make informed choices and optimise your care. These programs and consultations benefit you to increase your activity and improve your quality of life despite the presence of pain.


Pain + Activity + Coping + Education = PACE

An intensive 4 week program focused on improving physical, emotional, and social wellbeing and quality of life, despite the persistence of pain.

Aims: Increased participation in work, leisure, personal, and social activities and increased personal confidence to manage pain

Days: Tuesday and Thursday

Time: 9am to 2:30pm (5.5 hours per session)

Duration: 4 weeks (8 sessions)



A 4 week program covering the mind and body connection, how to reconnect with thoughts, feelings, and emotions and be more present. The program includes a range of meditations and the below midfulness meditations.

Group program

Day: Once per week

Time: 1.5 hrs per session

Duration: 4 weeks

Bounce Back

A small group program providing education and active self-management strategies to improve physical health and functioning in everyday activities for people with persistent pain, particularly spinal pain.

Group program

Aims: Assist with understanding persistent pain, participation in a range of areas (work, leisure, personal and social life), self-confidence to manage pain and flare ups.

Day: Once per week

Time: 2 hours per session

Duration: 4 weeks

Aquatic Physiotherapy (Group program)

A small group program in the water fully supervised by a physiotherapist, targeted towards enhancing muscle relaxation, decreasing pain, increasing range of movement, improving balance, and increasing strength.  An appointment with a physiotherapist is initially conducted to assess suitability for the program.

Group program

Day: Once per week

Time: 1 hour per session

Duration: 4 weeks


Individual Appointments

Physiotherapists empower people with persistent pain to increase their quality of life through improving physical function and confidence engaging in valued-life activity, despite pain. Increasing participation in valued activity, is achieved through education about pain, gradual exposure to movement, activity modification and understanding the important role of physical activity in persistent pain management.

Psychologists assess and formulate how biological, psychological, and social factors predispose, precipitate and perpetuate an individual’s experience of persistent pain, to deliver evidence-based psychological treatments to foster greater quality of life and improved mental health and wellbeing.

Occupational Therapists work to enable people to participate in the activities of daily living using goal setting, pacing and energy conservation, environment assessment and modification, and relaxation and sleep management. They can also assist with all aspects of returning to the workforce.

Pharmacists can provide advice on safe and effective medications and address issues to the patient's medical carers. They will provide evidence based education to the patient on different medication options to allow for informed choices including advise on associated risks, and appropriate medication-taking behaviours.

Pain Specialists assess and advise on safely managing the medical aspects of the pain. They work collaboratively with the health professionals in the clinic and your GP.  The assessment is holistic, evaluating the medical aspects of the pain in the context of your overall health. Recommendations are based on this assessment and current research. Time is devoted to explaining the pain and the place of medications, the different treatments and the benefits and risks.

Referral to the Interdisciplinary Persistent Pain Centre does not guarantee review by a Pain Specialist

Patient appointments are conducted face to face, however, we understand that on occasions this might be difficult and in these cases, we can offer a telehealth appointment as a substitute.

What does a holistic pain management program include?

  • Help to reflect on your pain journey and gain greater understanding of the impact of pain in your life.
  • Assist with adjusting to the life changes caused by pain.
  • Identify your values and whether you are engaging with what is important to you.
What is the difference between acute pain and persistent pain?

What is Pain?

  • Pain is both a physical sensation and an emotional experience
  • Acute pain is short term pain that results when there is obvious injury/illness
  • Acute pain resolves once the injury is healed or the illness ends.

What is Persistent pain?

  • Pain that persists past normal healing times of 3-6 months is persistent pain
  • A complex problem associated with increased sensitivity of the nervous system.
  • Requires a holistic, whole person approach to manage
  • Is real – it is not all in your head.
Understanding your pain journey

The program includes understanding your pain journey in ways to:

  • help to reflect on your pain journey and gain greater understanding of the impact of pain in your life
  • assist with adjusting to the life changes caused by pain
  • identify your values and whether you are engaging with what is important to you
Rediscovering meaningful activity
  • Introduce and support you to engage in active self-management strategies.
  • Connect with what is important to you and re-engage with meaningful and pleasurable activities.
Increased confidence when moving
  • Improve your physical function (e.g.walking, strength, balance)
  • Increase your ability to undertake daily activities including sports, hobbies and work
  • Aid you to safely access areas in your home environment
Optimising use of medication
  • Review your pain medication to improve its effectiveness and reduce side effects.
  • Understand how to manage acute pain flare ups.
  • Assist you to reduce your opioid medication.
Healthy lifestyle and psychological wellbeing
  • Gaining a greater understanding of the link between lifestyle factors and pain.
  • Assist with improving sleep.
  • Manage your depression, anxiety and/or stress.
  • Learn strategies to improve acceptance, mindfulness of the present moment and future focus.
External Links – Patient resources for Pain Management

For more information on what persistent pain is, how to manage it, specific advice for parents and young people, visit the Persistent pain management website on the Queensland Government website.

Persistent Pain Management Series by QLD Health

Last updated 25 Nov 2022