Knowledge Gaps in Pain Management and Opioid Therapy

David BeardEmergency Medicine, Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Medical News, Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Emergency Medicine, Pediatric Medicine, Personal Education, Physician Assistant, Urgent Care

Knowledge Gaps in Pain Management and Opioid Therapy Still Remain

Knowledge Gaps in Pain Management and Opioid Therapy Still Remain

Knowledge Gap Medical News Brief

A study was published this month on knowledge gaps in pain management for primary care providers, covering over 5,500 clinicians - including physicians, APRN's, RN's, pharmacists, and physician assistants. It is a long study, conducted by a major Continuing Medical Education firm (Rockpointe), but well worth the read.

Pretest responses to 2 CME/CE programs that are based on the 2016 and 2018 FDA REMS blueprints for pain management and opioid use reveal substantial and persistent gaps in knowledge among clinicians, including primary care practitioners.

Areas of particularly limited knowledge include the definitions and mechanisms of pain, general principles of pharmacologic analgesic therapy, and aspects of opioid analgesic therapy and addiction. Pretest participants also expressed limited confidence in their abilities to employ patient-engagement techniques into pain management or develop a treatment plan for a patient with chronic pain.

These data support an ongoing need for comprehensive clinician-based education as outlined in the 2018 FDA blueprint. This educational need is made particularly acute by escalating overdose data during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pain Management and Opioid Therapy Knowledge Gaps in Primary Care

You can read what they found here:

Pain Management and Opioid Therapy: Persistent Knowledge Gaps Among Primary Care Providers

Patient addiction management, therapy principles, and mechanisms of pain ranked highest in knowledge gaps, as measured against the 2018 FDA Blueprint (Read the PDF)

Pain Management and Opioid Therapy Knowledge Gaps in Nursing

2021 has seen a number of studies of clinical pain management knowledge at all practice levels. Elsevier's upcoming Nurse Education Today (Volume 108, January 2022) addresses a study of 1400 student nurses' knowledge levels with the kind of bald statement "Over the past 20 years, nursing students’ knowledge of pain management has not improved despite curriculum renewal."

These findings support the notion that nursing education does not include sufficient focus on pain identification and management. Alignment of nursing pain education with the curriculum developed in 1993 by the International Association for the Study of Pain is needed to ensure nurses have appropriate knowledge so that patients can receive effective pain management.

Nurse Education Today, Volume 108, January 2022

Pain Management CME and Opioid Therapy CME

Knowledge gaps occur over time, so how can you close them or prevent them?  Having evergreen knowledge assessment at the ready - throughout your career - can really mitigate clinical knowledge gap development.

Challenger Corporation routinely publishes updated topic-based content and self-assessment in their Med-Challenger knowledge review and CME credit courses.  You can start a free trial of any Med-Challenger primary care course online, allowing you to try the pain management CME and opioid therapy CME question banks inside. It's a fast way to see if you have knowledge gaps in this area - (or any area).  You'll get high-yield answer explanations and can earn CME credit for passing the assessment.

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