UK Perioperative Pain Study

A national snapshot study of perioperative pain management in patients undergoing abdominal surgery in the United Kingdom

Across the UK there is widespread variability in the approaches used to manage pain in patients undergoing surgery. Nevertheless good perioperative analgesia is essential to optimise patient outcomes.

This study aims to describe current practice in perioperative pain management following abdominal surgery and to observe how pain control affects post-operative outcomes.

Data will be collected over two weeks using a multi-centre prospective observational design. The study will be a collaboration between surgical and anaesthetic trainee networks.

Data to be collated will include:

  • Intraoperative and post operative analgesic techniques.
  • The surgical procedure.
  • The efficacy of postoperative pain control in recovery and for 48 hours after leaving recovery.
  • 30 day surgical complications and readmission rates.

Audit standards proposed by the Royal College of Anaethetists will be used to determine pain management efficacy and 30 day surgical complications will be collated using the Clavien-Dindo1 classification .

A pilot study has been conducted within General surgery at 2 trusts to refine the study protocol, nevertheless the premise of this study is relevant to all surgical specialities.

The intention is to use results to generate hypotheses for future collaborative cohort and randomised studies that aim to evaluate the efficacy, safety and patient experience of perioperative pain management.


Paul Marriott, ST7 Upper GI Surgery, Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, UK.


Charlotte Small, Research Fellow in Anaesthesia and Critical Care, Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, UK.


Resources and downloads

***Latest protocol***
WMRC-WMTRAINPerioperativepainauditprotocol v4

3 thoughts on “UK Perioperative Pain Study

  1. Dear study organisers,

    We have not heard from you after data submission. Is there any progress on the study? Or it is not going ahead?

    Kind regards

    Tomas Urbonas

    1. Thank-you for your email and post on our website.

      Apologies for delay in reply. Oversight on my part. Been particularly busy in the last month.

      There has been progress made. We received data on nearly 500 patients from 12 centres. An abstract has been submitted to the upcoming National Collaborative meeting in Sheffield and we are in the process of writing a paper.

      The data has also been used to support two HTA expression of interest applications on trials related to perioperative pain management. If either are successful we hope to further engage with people like yourself to deliver these potentially funded studies.

      If I can help any further please let me know. I have presented the basic results at our WMRC monthly meeting and are happy to share the presentation if you wish, although we don’t want the results to be disseminated too widely before we have a chance to present/ submit a paper.

      Apologies again.


      Mr Paul Marriott

  2. We are pain team based at Broomfield Hospital Chelmsford essex and are regional cntre for upper GI surgery, as well as lower GI surgery . We also perform AAAs and Renal surgery both Laparoscopically and open. Currently most open cases get epidurals, laparoscopic cases depending on type surgery and likelihood of opening.
    Other methods such as TAP blocks are starting to be used.
    I think it could be good for us to be involved in this audit so please let me have any further information so can discuss with my colleagues.
    Tom Durcan

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