Facebook Pixel Code
About Sickkids
About SickKids

July 21, 2017

Learn about paediatric pain with Online Paediatric Pain Curriculum

By Stefanie Kieft, Intern, Communications & Public Affairs

One in four children in Canada suffer from persistent or chronic pain and over 77 per cent of those who are treated at SickKids experience some sort of pain during their stay. Yet, pain is often undertreated in clinical settings and represents an underfunded area of health research in Canada. Inadequate pain assessment and management practices occur due to gaps in knowledge, pre-existing misconceptions about pain, and lack of training.

The Pain Centre, in partnership with the Learning Institute at SickKids, has developed the Online Paediatric Pain Curriculum (OPPC) to address these issues. The OPPC includes 10 modules targeted towards health-care professionals and trainees with basic health-care training and literacy in English. The web-based modules are freely available within SickKids and worldwide. Topics include acute and chronic pain management, management of pain in palliative care, the ethics and management of pain in children, pharmacological and non-pharmacological therapies and more.

"The online paediatric pain curriculum is a great way to acquire a broad background in pain in childhood from an interdisciplinary perspective. The ten modules will help healthcare professionals and trainees know more about how to prevent, assess and relieve pain in their young patients," says Dr. Carl von Baeyer, President of the Special Interest Group on Childhood of the International Association for the Study of Pain.

Each module was developed through the collaboration of up to four interdisciplinary pain experts from around the globe who created novel learning materials that aligned with International Association for the Study of Pain curriculum, including SickKids Staff Anesthesiologist and Pain Centre Co-Director Dr. Fiona Campbell.

“Currently, veterinarians get five times more dedicated pain education than medical students. We must empower health-care professionals to ensure that all children get the right pain care in the right place at the right time, and I believe the OPPC will help us move towards this goal,” says Campbell.

The Pain Centre worked closely with the Learning Institute and instructional designers to produce modules that followed best practices for adult learning. After a series of internal pilots, the OPPC was released in September of 2016. The modules reinforce learning needs and involve case studies relevant for health-care professionals. The OPPC is available at no charge on any Internet platform, including mobile devices, and can be easily integrated into pre-existing learning resources, or used as a stand-alone learning tool.

The Online Paediatric Pain Curriculum has 10 modules that cover a range of pain related education topics, including resources for palliative care.

“The smartly designed modules provide high quality interactive online resources, unique learning experience and enhance personal knowledge by effectively integrating concepts and skills across the disciplines of paediatric pain practice. It offers much needed contribution towards improved clinical care for children living with pain globally,” says Dr. Navil Sethna, Professor of Anaesthesia, Harvard Medical School.

Currently, the OPPC is being integrated into the undergraduate nursing education program at the University of Toronto and has had preliminary success within the global community, with health-care professionals as far as Australia and the Middle East. Each module is evaluated via a feedback survey which will in turn inform how the modules can be refined to best suit learners’ needs.

"The ultimate goal," says Dr. Bonnie Stevens, Pain Centre Co-Director and Research Institute Senior Scientist, “is to change health-care professional pain practices to prevent pain and its consequences for the children we care for. The OPPC will improve access to new knowledge and more learning opportunities for health-care professionals all over the world who provide care to children.”

Access the Online Paediatric Pain Curriculum directly or visit the Pain Centre web site at SickKids.

For additional information contact: pain.centre@sickkids.ca

The Pain Centre would like to acknowledge the contributions of: the Canadian Pain Society, The MAYDAY Fund, Special Interest Group on Pain in Childhood of the International Association for the Study of Pain, University of Toronto, SickKids Foundation, CIHR Team in Children’s Pain and Pain in Child Health.