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Pain management teaching shortfall

MundiPharma-backed study that find medical students in Europe are receiving insufficient training in pain
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Medical students in Europe receive insufficient training in pain management, according to a study funded by pharma company MundiPharma.

The APPEAL (Advancing the Provision of Pain Education And Learning) study claims that, even when compulsory courses on pain are in place, they represent on average only 12 hours of an entire six-year degree programme – or just 0.2 per cent of the teaching received.

The findings of the study suggest that the inadequacies in pain teaching leave future doctors unprepared for its treatment and management, and that there are regional inconsistencies in teaching and availability of pain management courses.

“With the exception of France and a handful of schools in other countries, there is a striking lack of dedicated teaching on pain across Europe,” said Dr Emma Briggs, lecturer, King's College London, and chair of the British Pain Society Pain Education Special Interest Group.

“This raises the question as to whether the provision of pain education in undergraduate medical studies is fit for purpose to address the current and growing unmet public health need,” she added.

The APPEAL study, guided by a group of multi-disciplinary experts under the leadership of EFIC, the European Pain Federation, also found that 62 per cent of European undergraduate medical schools offer pain teaching only within other subjects – and that these subjects vary across schools.

Following the study, the APPEAL experts made several recommendations, including the establishment of a European framework for pain education, compulsory pain teaching for all undergraduate medical students in Europe, and the improved documentation of pain teaching.

Conducted by independent research company Adelphi Research in 15 European countries, the study took place between April and September 2013.

Article by
Tara Craig

15th October 2013

From: Marketing, Healthcare

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