Dr. Tonia Onyeka Completes Pain Education Grant

Jul 6, 2020

IASP is excited to report on the work of 2019 Developing Countries Project: Initiative to Improve Pain Education Grant recipient, Dr. Tonia Onyeka. The Developing Countries Project: Initiative to Improve Pain Education Grant facilitates the creation of pain education programs in developing countries. Types of grant projects include combining practical instruction with the latest research, developing written teaching materials, creating online learning programs, or developing or implementing policy changes on pain education and practice in hospitals, universities, governments, or other places. 

IASP: What was your project? What did it aim to accomplish?

Onyeka: With the Developing Countries Pain Education Grant, completed "Project OPUS: Online pain module for Nigerian Medical undergraduate students." The goals of this project were to create a consortium of experts in pain management, medical training, and eLearning, to advance pain education in medical undergraduates in Nigeria; to adapt existing evidence-based pain management education materials to provide an engaging and diversified learning environment for undergraduate medical students; to augment students’ face-to-face classroom and clinical exposure to pain management issues through piloting an eLearning platform for pain management; and to determine the feasibility and acceptability of eLearning for pain management.

Were you able to accomplish these objectives?

Yes! In fact, we were able to surpass our original objectives. Originally, we were funded to develop and implement an online pain management training program for just one medical school. Eventually we expanded the sites to include four (4) more medical schools which gave a total of five (5) sites where the eLearning program was implemented successfully. In addition, for all sites, there was a marked improvement in the post-test as evidenced by statistically significant increases in median scores differences and related effect sizes. Lastly, participants positively rated the online experience in terms of usability and acceptability.

What material has been developed as a result of this grant?

As a result of this project, an online pain management module has been developed that can be used for undergraduate medical students in Nigeria who did not participate in the pilot cohort as well as medical students in other Low-middle income countries (LMICs) who have need of pain education. We will review and update these materials as new advances in the field of pain medicine are made available. 

What are the long-term implications for this project? 

We have already made plans to make presentations to the Deans of the various Colleges of Medicine that participated in the pilot to engage with them to adopt the training for subsequent 5th year medical students. We also hope to reach out to other Colleges of Medicine that did not participate in this pilot.