Updates from Developing Countries Pain Education Grant Recipients

Jan 13, 2021

IASP is excited to report on the work of 2019 Developing Countries Project: Initiative to Improve Pain Education Grant recipients Dr. Annemarie Oberholzer, Dr. Ali Sarfraz Siddiqui, and 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. 

Paediatric Empowerment Programme (PEP) Talks

Dr. Annemarie Oberholzer, Jelly Beanz, South Africa published the book How to Become a P.I.: Pain Investigator Into Childhood Pain which is available as a free PDF download. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic beginning in March 2020, the books were distributed at in-person workshops. As a result of being unable to host in-person workshops after March 2020, workshops were held online. A total of 12 workshops were held in-person and virtually in 2019 and 2020 which reached 371 students and staff. 

In seeing the success of the virtual workshops, a series of online videos were published on the Paediatric Empowerment Programme's YouTube channel thus making them widely and freely available to anyone around the world and greatly expanding the geographical reach of the original program. Those who had participated in initial workshops had provided positive feedback and post-tests showed a significant increase in student knowledge after participating in the workshops. 


Educational Courses for Physicians and Nursing Staff of Intensive Care Units (ICUs) across the Sindh Province of Pakistan

Dr. Ali Sarfraz Siddiqui, Aga Khan University, Pakistan, educated more than 200 physicians and nursing staff working in various ICUs in Karachi and across the Sindh province. The team taught participants to use the Critical Care Pain Observation Tool (CPOT) to assess pain in intubated patients. In addition, the course covered anatomy and physiology of pain, other pain assessment tools, and the overall importance of assessming and managing pain in critically ill patients. In addition, they conducted a virtual workshop, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which was attended by more than 100 participants. 

Overall, the feedback from participants was positive, post-test results showed significant improvement in knowledge, and participants advised the faculty to continue the program. The team plans to conduct regular trainings using the developed Urdu-language course materials once the COVID-19-related strain on ICU staff is eased. 

Project OPUS: Online pain module for Nigerian Medical undergraduate students published in PLoS One

Research on Dr. Tonia Onyeka's 2019 Developing Countries Pain Education Grant project, Project OPUS, was published in PLoS One on 10 December 2020. According to the article,"this study aimed to determine the effect of a 12-week structured e-Learning course on the knowledge of pain management among Nigerian undergraduate medical students." 

In conclusion, the research team notes "e-Learning approaches to pain management education can enhance traditional learning methods and may increase students’ knowledge. Future iterations of e-Learning approaches will need to consider facilitating the download of data and content for the platform to increase user uptake and engagement. The platform was piloted as an optional adjunct to existing curricula. Future efforts to advocate and support integration of e-Learning for pain education should be two-fold; both to include pain education in the curricula of medical colleges across Nigeria and the use of e-Learning approaches to enhance teaching where feasible."