IASP Leaders Present a Symposium at the Educational Leadership Conference

Oct 30, 2019

As part of the IASP 2018 Global Year for Excellence in Pain Education, IASP volunteers revised IASP pain education curriculum outlines for 8 professions. The IASP curriculum for physical therapists in training was adopted by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). The APTA partnered with the IASP to present a symposium on these guidelines, Building the Future of Pain Management in Physical Therapy, on 18 October at the Educational Leadership Conference (ELC) in Bellevue, Washington, USA. The ELC is a collaborative effort by the Academy of Physical Therapy Education and the American Council of Academic Physical Therapy (ACAPT) that is attended by over 1000 physical therapy educators and practitioners. IASP immediate past-president Judy Turner (University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA), Marie Hoeger Bement (Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA), and IASP members Mark Bishop (University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA) and Debra Gordon (University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA) presented on IASP, the global burden of pain, implications of core pain competencies and changes in the IASP curriculum outline on pain for pre-licensure education, and the important role of physical therapists in treating patients with pain problems. The presenters emphasized the importance of pain and team competencies for physical therapists in training. The symposium was well-attended and well-received. Physical therapists in attendance were particularly interested in opportunities for further pain education and they were informed of resources on the IASP website including the IASP Pain Research Forum and PERC – IASP’s Pain Education Resource Center – where IASP members can access on-demand continuing education resources including webinar recordings, IASP World Congress recordings, and more.  

Physical therapists represent a small but growing proportion of IASP members and IASP leadership hopes that their involvement in IASP will increase. Physical therapists are key providers of non-pharmacological therapies, particularly exercise and other movement-based approaches, considered to be first-line therapies for many chronic pain conditions. A recent comparative effectiveness review of non-pharmacological therapies for chronic pain, commissioned by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), concluded that exercise is an effective treatment for chronic low back pain, chronic neck pain, knee and hip osteoarthritis pain, and fibromyalgia  [https://effectivehealthcare.ahrq.gov/products/nonpharma-treatment-pain-update/draft-research]. The IASP is excited to collaborate with the physical therapy profession to enhance education of physical therapists in the assessment and management of pain problems. IASP is committed to providing and being a resource for quality, state-of-the-art education about all aspects of pain, as well as partnering with other organizations with interests in pain. We are excited about upcoming enhancements to our online pain education offerings and joint programs with other organizations. Stay tuned; future newsletters will have more details!