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Enough is enough: time for change in pain education?
  1. Amelia Swift1,
  2. Alison Twycross2
  1. 1 School of Nursing, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK
  2. 2 School of Health and Social Care, London South Bank University, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Amelia Swift, School of Nursing, University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK; A.Swift{at}

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Each year the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) runs a campaign to bring attention to an aspect of pain management. This year, the Global Year is for Excellence in Pain Education (see: The aim of the year is to bridge the gap between knowledge and practice. There are some useful factsheets available on the website to help promote excellence in pain education including: current status of pain education and implementation challenges; pain curriculum design models and implementation approaches; and pain education assessment and evaluation strategies.

The need to ensure knowledge is used in practice is not unique to education about pain management; it is something that echoes throughout education land. Academics and clinicians alike spend much of their time wondering why evidence is not translated into practice. Last year, we ran a workshop at the RCN International Research Conference to explore nurses’ priorities for research into pain education. Michelle Briggs (University of Manchester) worked with us to set the scene by outlining the evidence in respect of the current standing of pain education for health professionals in the UK, the influence of policy on pain education and the challenge of curriculum design and assessment. In a nutshell, we presented a well-researched but predictable narrative that demonstrated how years of research, pedagogical innovation, guidelines and passion were not improving practice. The long and …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.