Chronic pain is prevalent in intensive care survivors and in patients who require acute care treatments. Many adverse consequences have been associated with chronic post-intensive care and acute care-related pain. Hence, interest in interventions to prevent these pain disorders has grown. To improve the understanding of the mechanisms of action of these interventions and their potential impacts, this article outlines the pathophysiology involved in the transition from acute to chronic pain, the epidemiology and consequences of chronic post-intensive care and acute care- related pain, and risk factors for the development of chronic pain. Pharmacological, nonpharmacological, and multimodal preventive interventions specific to the targeted populations and their levels of evidence are presented. Nursing implications for preventing chronic pain in patients receiving critical and acute care are also discussed.

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