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New Pain Management education resource for health professionals launched

Photo: New Pain Management education resource for health professionals launched
Helping health professionals to better treat chronic pain, the third most expensive health condition, is the focus of a new educational resource launched in Brisbane today at a key meeting of Australian and New Zealand pain medicine specialists.

The Better Pain Management Program, an initiative of the Faculty of Pain Medicine (FPM) of the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA) has been designed for specialist and general medical practitioners, nurses, medical students and allied health practitioners caring for patients with persistent pain.

Chronic pain is one of the top three most expensive healthcare conditions in Australia, New Zealand and worldwide. It affects one in five people and costs the Australian economy more than $35 billion each year.

It has been estimated that only 20 per cent of pain sufferers receive best practise pain care. And with the ageing of Australia and New Zealand’s population the prevalence of pain in the community is likely to increase.
According to the Faculty of Pain Medicine’s Chair of the Professional Affairs Executive Committee, Dr Michael Vagg, the e-learning program provides a unique opportunity for health professionals in Australia and New Zealand.

‘’Better Pain Management arose as a response by pain medicine doctors and academics to the huge need for quality education for our colleagues in other disciplines,’’ he explained.

‘’Using e-learning as a medium brings the world-leading expertise of the Faculty's Fellowship to any health professional who wants to join us and be part of the solution to the community predicament of chronic pain.’’

Dr Vagg said developing strategies to treat acute pain well and identify persistent pain in its early stages can minimise the risks of ongoing chronic pain and disability.

Developed by FPM specialists in collaboration with other medical practitioners specialising in pain management the program has the support of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, the Australian Pain Society, Painaustralia and the Federal Department of Health. 

The program consists of 12 online education modules focusing on skills and knowledge development for the care of patients with pain and are designed to be completed in one hour.

The Faculty of Pain Medicine meeting in Brisbane has attracted local and international delegates ahead of the start of the ANZCA’s Annual Scientific Meeting on Saturday May 13.


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