Teaching cancer pain management: durability of educational effects of a role model program.
BACKGROUND: Inadequate management of cancer related pain has resulted primarily from attitudinal barriers and a lack of knowledge about clinical assessment, the administration of analgesics, and therapeutic interventions. METHODS: Fifty health-care providers (13 physicians, 21 nurses, and 16 pharmacists), working as a team, participated in a Role Model Program that presented principles of cancer pain management. A questionnaire that evaluated the fund of knowledge and attitudes regarding cancer pain management was administered prior to the 1-day workshop, at the end of the workshop, and at 4 and 12 months follow-up. The workshop consisted of lectures and discussion groups; in the discussion groups, concepts were clarified, cases presented, and barriers to optimal cancer pain management identified. RESULTS: Significant improvements in attitudes (P < 0.01), knowledge (P < 0.01), and total scores (P < 0.002) were observed when the preworkshop responses were compared with those obtained immediately after instruction. Scores on the questionnaire were the same or slightly better at both 4 and 12 months in follow-up, demonstrating no loss in acquired knowledge or attitude. Comparison of the postworkshop scores with those at 12 months follow-up were significantly better in attitude (P < 0.03), and in total score (P < 0.01); improvements in knowledge also approached significance (p < 0.06). These represented continuing improvements because significant differences in the attitude scores (P < 0.05) and the total score (P < 0.05) were observed when the 4-month and 12-month follow-up responses were evaluated. The effectiveness of the program in the transference of knowledge was also measured; in the first year of the program, more than 4500 health-care professionals were subsequently informed about cancer pain management from the Role Model Participants. CONCLUSIONS: Significant improvements were observed immediately in both attitude and knowledge of cancer pain management principles after the 1-day Role Model Workshop. These improvements continued, as determined at 4 and 12 months follow-up. The Role Model Participants were highly motivated to share the learned principles of cancer pain management with other health-care professionals. These results are consistent with other Role Model Programs that both instruct and involve the participants. The Role Model Program is an efficient and effective means of educating health-care professionals in the concepts of cancer pain management.
Janjan, NA; Martin, CG; Payne, R; Dahl, JL; Weissman, DE; Hill, CS
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