Mich P, Hellyer P, Kogan L, Schoenfeld-Tacher R. Effects of a pilot training program on veterinary students' pain knowledge, attitude, and assessment skills. J Vet Med Educ. 2010 Winter; 37(4):358-368

PMID: 21135403


The prevention and management of pain is fundamental to the practice of both human and veterinary medicine. The recognition and treatment of pain represents an important indicator of the quality of care delivered in human hospitals and veterinary hospitals. Yet, both human and veterinary health care professionals have cited inadequate knowledge as a significant barrier to effective pain management. The aims of this pilot study were twofold: (1) to gauge veterinary medical students' current attitudes regarding their training in pain management and (2) to assess the impact of training and practice on the use of a canine acute pain assessment teaching tool. Participants, third-year professional veterinary medical students, completed a 16-item survey questionnaire before a 30-minute training session on pain assessment using the teaching tool and completed it again after training and a one-week practice period. Questions related to canine pain, assessment of canine pain, pain management education in the professional veterinary curriculum, and an example case presentation (video) were included in the survey. The analysis of survey results indicated that professional veterinary medicine students find value in didactic and clinical training in canine pain assessment. Additionally, use of the canine acute pain teaching tool in conjunction with a training program improved students' knowledge and skill in assessment while pointing out the importance of further training. Differences with regard to gender and tracking were found and warrant further exploration.

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