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SPOT Clinical Audit: Safely Prescribing Opioid Treatment

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This education is accredited: RACGP 40 CPD, ACRRM 30 CME PD.

Audit Aim

To assess patients whose chronic non-cancer pain is not adequately controlled and who may benefit from a change in their pain management plan.

Inclusion Criteria

  1. Patients who have had non-cancer pain for over 3 months
  2. Are taking regular codeine ≥ 120mg daily (with or without other non-opioid analgesics)
  3. Their pain is currently not well-controlled with minimal side effects.

Steps to Proceed

What the GP needs to do

  • Log in or register on this page
  • Use the 'Click here to proceed' button to get started.


1. Pre-Test

  • Read the background information on the audit's underlying evidence and best practice statements and answer some questions.
  • It would be a good idea to complete this 10 minute activity before your first audit patient.

2. Identify 10 patients:

  • With non-cancer pain for over 3 months and taking regular codeine ≥ 120mg daily (with or without other non-opioid analgesics)
  • Pain currently not well-controlled with minimal side effects

Tips to identify 10 patients

1. Consider a patient being consulted for chronic non-cancer pain

2. Perform a search on your practice software using the following search criteria: (Please consult your practice software help or support function if required)

  • Diagnosis: Common causes of chronic pain e.g. low back pain or osteoarthritis of the knee/hip
  • Medications: Codeine-containing preparations e.g. paracetamol 500mg and codeine phosphate 30mg tablets/capsules

3. Recall these patients for a consultation - click here to download a recall letter that can be mail merged using your practice software or handed out by your practice nurse.

3. Assess the degree that the patient's pain affects their quality of life, their current pain management, and appropriateness for opioid therapy.

  • Enter this information in the patient data entry section of the audit.

4. Action

  • Discuss a Pain Management Plan with the patient based on current evidence and considered best practice.

5. Data review and evaluation

  • Once you have entered data for 10 patients, review your results and evaluate the audit recommendations.

6. CPD points

  • Completion of this activity will award you 40 RACGP QI&CPD points, or 30 ACRRM PDP points.
  • If a nurse assisted you in completing the clinical audit and wants to claim CPD points download a certificate here.


This program is supported by Mundipharma Pty Limited.

Content partners: 
SPOT Clinical Audit - Pre-test
SPOT Clinical Audit - Patient Entry
SPOT Clinical Audit - Results and Evaluation