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Pediatric pain management education in medical students: impact of a web-based module

Journal title
Journal of palliative medicine
Publication year
2012
Author(s)
Ameringer, S.; Fisher, D.; Sreedhar, S.; Ketchum, J. M.; Yanni, L.
Pages
978-83
Volume
15
Number
9

OBJECTIVE: Reports from the Institute of Medicine and American Medical Association’s Pain and Palliative Medicine Specialty Section Council emphasize the need for pain management education in medical schools, yet training in pediatric pain management (PPM) is limited. In this pilot program, we evaluated the effectiveness of a web-based PPM module on knowledge, confidence, attitudes, and self-reported skills in medical students. METHODS: Third- and fourth-year medical students (n = 291) completed the module and a knowledge test. Of these students, 53 completed a pre- and postsurvey of confidence, attitudes, and self-reported skills and module evaluation. RESULTS: For the 291 students, knowledge scores increased significantly by 21.8 points (95% confidence interval [CI] = 19.7-23.8; p<0.001). The majority of scores on the survey items significantly increased postmodule, including: increase in confidence in assessing pain in pediatric patients (6% to 25%; p = 0.004), increase in responses of "strongly disagree" or "disagree" to the belief that opioids will delay diagnosis (62% to 85%; p = 0.005), and increase in responses of "frequently" or "very frequently" to "how often do you use behavioral instruments to assess pain severity?" (35% to 57%; p = 0.008). The majority reported they intend to make changes in behavior or practice (71%), and would recommend the module to fellow students (88%). CONCLUSION: This pilot program supports the effectiveness of a web-based module in improving knowledge, confidence, attitudes, and self-reported skills in PPM. Evaluation responses indicate high-quality content. Further evaluation for sustained impact is warranted.

Research abstracts