A national consortium, led by Professor Michael Nicholas at the Pain Management Research Institute, University of Sydney is developing interdisciplinary digital pain education to support the emerging, current and future health workforce and improve the lives of patients with chronic pain.
“The purpose of the digital education platform is to develop interdisciplinary health professional pain management programs that promote a nationally consistent and integrated approach to the management of people with chronic pain. A digital platform is being developed that is fit for purpose, flexible and has great user experience. The funds from Hearts & Minds and TDM Growth Partners [September 2021 onwards] have enabled us to do so much more than what was possible within the funds provided by the Department of Health [Commonwealth Government]. It is exciting to see the platform and pain education training developing.” - Professor Michael Nicholas, Project Lead, Pain Management Research Institute
Dr Simone De Morgan, the program manager, says “the key to our digital pain education training is our focus on patient stories. We want to create a patient centred approach and it will also increase learner engagement in the training.”
As part of the project, Curtin University asked Australian people living with chronic pain and carers, “what are the most important things that health professionals can do to help people manage their chronic pain?” They also asked health professionals involved in the clinical care of people living with chronic pain what they thought about these pain care priorities, and what pain education they would like to see included in any training modules.
A patient care priorities framework was developed to shape the digital pain education training.1
The essence of the pain care priorities framework is captured in one priority in particular - “listen to me, learn from me and hear what I am telling you, so it makes me feel my concerns have been understood.” - Person living with chronic pain
The digital pain education training will have two tiers. Tier 1 will focus on essential knowledge, a foundational level training; and Tier 2 will focus on building core skills with a core theme being teaching patients about self-management.
The consortium members had a workshop on 6 May 2022 to discuss the program architecture. Since then, the consortium members have been developing the educational modules and a digital education expert, a graphic designer, and an evaluation consultant have been engaged to assist them.
The aim is to develop the digital pain education training by early 2023 and to pilot it with a range of health professionals.
1. Slater H, Jordan JE, O'Sullivan PB, Schütze R, Goucke R, Chua J, Browne A, Horgan B, De Morgan S, Briggs AM. 'Listen to me, learn from me': a priority setting partnership for shaping interdisciplinary pain training to strengthen chronic pain care. Pain. 2022 Apr 6.
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