Essential Pain Management
What is the Essential Pain Management programme?
In developing countries, pain is often poorly assessed and treated due to lack of staff, inadequate knowledge and the scarcity or absence of analgesic drugs.
The Essential Pain Management (EPM) course has been developed to improve pain management worldwide by working with health workers at a local level.
It is a cost-effective, multi-disciplinary programme, which encourages early handover of teaching to local instructors. It aims to improve knowledge of pain, to provide a simple framework for managing pain and to explore ways of overcoming local barriers.
Why is there a need for an Essential Pain Management programme?
There is a need for an Essential Pain Management (EPM) course because:
- Pain is often poorly treated.
- Improving knowledge and attitudes can lead to improved pain management.
- Simple and inexpensive treatments can make a big difference.
About the Essential Pain Management programme
There are two parts to the EPM programme – the EPM Workshop and the EPM Instructor Workshop. Manuals and slides have been developed for both workshops.
The EPM Workshop is a one-day programme of interactive lectures and group discussions. The workshop teaches a system for recognising, assessing and treating pain and addresses pain management barriers.
The EPM Instructor Workshop is a half-day programme designed to provide participants with the knowledge and skills to become EPM instructors. Early handover of teaching to local instructors is very important because it encourages cooperation between local health workers, and because local instructors are more likely to understand specific local problems.
In most courses on the third day the newly qualified local instructors are supervised whilst they deliver the basic EPM Workshop to a whole new cohort of participants.
Who can attend?
The EPM programme is designed for any health worker who comes in contact with patients who have pain. It is aimed at “grass roots” workers and complements other higher level initiatives to improve pain management, for example, improving supply of morphine and other analgesics.
Participants may include doctors, nurses, clinic workers, pharmacists and other health workers. For some, the information in the EPM Workshop will be new. For others, the course will provide revision and a framework for teaching others. The workshop is also suitable for trainee doctors and nurses.
History of the Essential Pain Management programme
The EPM programme was developed in Australia and New Zealand. The first course was held in Papua New Guinea in April 2010. Subsequent courses have been run throughout South East Asia, Mongolia, the Pacific Islands, Uganda and Rwanda. The EPM programme is managed by the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists and is grateful for the support of its many donors.
In 2013, the EPM UK Working Group was established with the purpose of running EPM courses across Africa. So far, courses have been run in Ethiopia, Madagascar, Malawi, Palestine, Sierra Leone, Tanzania and Uganda.
You can find out more about each course by clicking on the boxes below.