When life gives you lemons, make lemonade, or so the saying goes. But in the case of a few IASP members with a positive, can-do attitude, when life gave them a pandemic, they planned a successful virtual training session instead.
IASP members Mary Cardosa (Malaysia), Michael Nicholas (Australia), Zubaidah Jamil Osman (Malaysia), Pongparadee Chaudakshetrin (Thailand), Ramani Vijayan (Malaysia), Sasikaan Nimmaanrat (Thailand), Andrew Rice (UK), Fiona Blyth (Australia), and Jocelyn Que (Philippines) worked with Indonesian IASP members Devi Ariani, Jimmy Barus, and Takdir Musba to plan a virtual training session as part of the Multidisciplinary Pain Center Development Manual Project. The training took place from 22 May 2021- 10 July 2021. Nearly 50 clinicians from seven different hospitals participated in the training.
The faculty conducted in-person training in Myanmar in 2019 and intended to travel to Indonesia and Vietnam in 2020, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic, they postponed the in-person training several times. Ultimately due to the ongoing effects of the pandemic, the faculty decided the training would take place virtually in 2021.
Over the course of six months, the faculty worked tirelessly to convert the training to a virtual format. They knew that, after working virtually for over a year, the in-person format of 1-week training for 8 hours per day would not work in a video conference setting. So after some discussion, the schedule became 8 sessions of 4 hours each. When converting the curriculum, maintaining the integrity of the program and giving participants plenty of opportunities for discussion and interaction were important. The first two sessions focused on the Essential Pain Management (EPM Lite) curriculum to give participants an overview of multidisciplinary pain management approaches. The next four sessions discussed various aspects of self-management and included skills practice and case formulation. The last two sessions covered the actual development of the multidisciplinary pain clinics and discussed the state of pain services in Indonesia and barriers to creating multidisciplinary clinics.
Because of the online format, the number of participants nearly doubled from the in-person training. Participants from more than one hospital took part, increasing the reach of the program and allowing participants to gain additional perspectives on pain management in Indonesia.
The next training is scheduled to take place virtually in October and November 2021 with participants located in Vietnam. Plans are in the works to create a second phase of the Multidisciplinary Pain Center Development Manual to discuss virtual training and virtual pain as well as the incorporation of the lived experience perspective in pain care.