APPEAL – Advancing the Provision of Pain Education and Learning

Please read the introduction by former European Pain Federation EFIC® President Hans G. Kress M.D., Ph.D., FFPMCAI (Hon.) on the APPEAL study below.

"The European Pain Federation EFIC® can now, on behalf of the APPEAL study Expert Taskforce, share the results of the first Europe-wide study on pain education provision for undergraduate medical students, presented at the annual European Pain Federation EFIC® congress in Florence on October 10th.

This research was guided by a multi-disciplinary Taskforce of experts under the leadership of European Pain Federation EFIC®, funded by Mundipharma International Limited and involved 242 undergraduate medical schools across 15 European countries. Set against a public health backdrop, which sees approximately 75 million adults in Europe affected by chronic pain, the objective of this important study was to understand how pain is taught and assessed at the undergraduate medical schools level in Europe, and to identify any opportunities for improvements.

The findings were striking – 82 per cent of undergraduate medical schools in Europe have no dedicated courses on pain that are compulsory for all students. Not only does this indicate the low priority that pain teaching has within the current undergraduate medical curricula, it also raises questions about whether future doctors are equipped to manage and treat one of the most common problems they will encounter in clinical practice. Even when compulsory courses on pain are in place, they represent on average only 12 hours within a degree programme; equivalent to just 0.2 per cent of an undergraduate medical teaching, based on the European Union’s Directive on minimum training hours for medical degrees (currently six years or 5,550 hours).

It is based on these, and the other detailed findings from the study, that the APPEAL Expert Taskforce calls on medical schools, pain specialists, medical students and relevant policymakers to ensure that pain education for undergraduate medical students across Europe is fit for purpose to address the current unmet public health need to adequately manage and treat pain."

For more information you can find the APPEAL study media report here. Please also feel free to link to this location from your website referring to the European Pain Federation EFIC®.