Healthcare Professional Students' Knowledge and Attitudes Towards Chronic Pain Management.

2018-05-17 17:12:13 | BioPortfolio


Chronic pain affects from one third to one half of the population in the UK (Fayaz et al, 2016). The cost and burden of chronic pain is significant to health services worldwide. The affects of chronic pain are widespread upon the lives of those affected. Health professionals need to be better equipped than at present to manage pain and current chronic pain management knowledge in healthcare is poor. Briggs et al 2011 described the hours of pain education delivered at undergraduate level as 'woefully inadequate'. The International Association for Study of Pain (IASP) defined curricula for pain education at undergraduate level 6 years ago but current levels of knowledge at undergraduate health professional level are not widely known. This study aims to establish this at the outset of a pre-registration health professional courses and at the end of these courses.

This study aims to identify the baseline knowledge and attitudes of pre-registration healthcare students in Universities throughout UK and Ireland toward chronic pain management. The disciplines targeted are nursing, midwifery, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, diagnostic radiography and paramedics.

It is a cross sectional study that compares attitudes and knowledge of first year and final year pre-registration healthcare students in the UK and Ireland. These parameters are measured using the HC-PAIRS measure and Revised Neurophysiology Questionnaire respectively. In addition anonymous data is collected pertaining to participant characteristics which are institute of study, age, gender, level and discipline of study to enable a comparison between these parameters.


Chronic pain is characterised by a protective mechanism of the neuro-immune-endocrine systems potentially exacerbated by loading exposures, conditioning, psychological, socio-economic, lifestyle, comorbid mental health and non-modifiables such as genetics, (O'Sullivan et al 2016). Pain education can be a useful basis for helping patients to manage their symptoms and return to good daily function. However a biomedical approach to chronic pain persists in medical communities, whilst persistent pain populations increase and incidences of opioid addiction are growing secondary to poor pain management. Biomedical models of pain are likely to induce fear avoidant behaviour and exacerbate chronicity (Wertli et al 2014). In order to change the prevailing biomedical approach to chronic pain the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) have provided detailed pain curricula content for different medical and allied health professional courses. Briggs et al (2015) found that out of 15 'representative European countries' less than a handful of universities from 3 countries had implemented distinctly identifiable pain education teaching. However they may be other forms of pain education that are taking place in pre-registration healthcare professional education. This study aims to establish the levels of chronic pain management knowledge and attitudes prevail in the UK and Ireland amongst pre-registration healthcare professionals.

Study Design


Chronic Pain


Teesside University
United Kingdom




Teesside University

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2018-05-17T17:12:13-0400

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