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A survey evaluation comparing pain curriculum taught in Australian exercise physiology degrees to graduate perceptions of their preparedness and competency to treat people with chronic pain.

Authors
  • Jones, Matthew D1, 2
  • Cashin, Aidan G2, 3
  • Mouatt, Brendan4
  • McLeod, Kelly A1
  • Mundell, Niamh L5
  • McAuley, James H1, 2
  • Booth, John1
  • 1 Department of Exercise Physiology, School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine & Health, UNSW Sydney, Sydney, Australia. , (Australia)
  • 2 Centre for Pain IMPACT, Neuroscience Research Australia, Sydney, Australia. , (Australia)
  • 3 Prince of Wales Clinical School, Faculty of Medicine & Health, UNSW Sydney, Sydney, Australia. , (Australia)
  • 4 IIMPACT in Health, Allied Health and Human Performance, University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia. , (Australia)
  • 5 School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University, Burwood, Australia. , (Australia)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Musculoskeletal care
Publication Date
Jun 01, 2022
Volume
20
Issue
2
Pages
299–306
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1002/msc.1586
PMID: 34487411
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

This cross-sectional study evaluated the nature of pain curriculum being taught in accredited exercise physiology degrees across Australian universities and its perceived usefulness for preparing exercise physiologists to treat people with chronic pain. Universities and graduates were asked about the nature and sufficiency of pain curriculum taught, with particular emphasis on competencies for physical therapists as outlined by the International Association for the Study of Pain. Ten universities and 101 graduates responded. Median (interquartile range) instruction time on pain curriculum was 12 (7.25-18.75) hours. Few universities (30%) were aware of the guidelines for physical therapy pain curricula, although most (70%) agreed their degrees contained adequate instruction on pain assessment and management. In contrast, 74% of graduates felt their degree did not adequately prepare them to treat people with chronic pain. Half the graduates (51%) were not aware of the guidelines for physical therapy pain curricula. There is a disconnect between perceptions of Australian universities and their graduates regarding the sufficiency of pain curriculum taught to student exercise physiologists. Benchmarking pain curriculum in Australian university programs against relevant international recommendations may enhance the suitability of pain curricula taught to exercise physiologists, thereby better preparing new graduates to treat people with pain. © 2021 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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