the italian

the italian

Out of sight, out of mind – why the reluctance to see pain as a critical issue?

6h ago
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Interactive panel discussion recorded during the 5th annual Societal Impact of Pain (SIP) symposium Better education on pain management and European best practice sharing Palliative care and Pain therapy were listed as healthcare priorities during the Italian presidency in the second half of 2014. For the first time ever all EU Ministers of Health discussed during the Informal Health Council, on 22nd September 2014 in Milan/Italy, how to direct national and European strategies and health policies to address the need for improved pain care in Europe. The 5th SIP (Societal Impact of Pain) Symposium, held on 17and 18th. November 2014 in Brussels/Belgium was endorsed by the Italian Ministry of Health. The delegates of the SIP symposium focussed their discussions on what measures are urgently required to ensure that chronic pain and palliative care remain priorities on the agenda of the EU institutions and the national governments. According to Prof. Hans-Georg Kress, immediate past-president of the European Pain Federation EFIC®, chronic pain should be recognised as a disease in its own right. “As patients suffering from chronic pain commonly experience also lack of sleep, anxiety, depression and reduced quality of life we need a multimodal and multidisciplinary approach to treat such a complex phenomenon as chronic pain”, he stated. Although the impact of pain is enormous not only on individual patients, but also on societies and the economy as a whole it is still surprising that many decision makers and clinicians are reluctant to recognize pain as a critical issue and to treat it with the priority it deserves. Shelagh Wright, a facilitator in pain management and psycho-oncology education for nurses, supported that the lack of knowledge and skills by health care workers was one big obstacle that had to be overcome if the situation was to improve in the future. Prof. Hans-Georg Kress reported on the first Europe-wide study on pain education provision for undergraduate medical students. According to this study, which involved 242 undergraduate medical schools in 12 European countries, 82% of these schools have no dedicated courses on pain that are compulsory.12 And even if courses in pain are in place, they represent on average only 12 hours training. The European Pain Federation EFIC® has already acted and proposed a core curriculum on pain management in undergraduate education which is available on www.efic.org and was provided by EFIC® to all universities and national authorities. In supporting the importance viewpoints about the importance of training Dr. Maria Teresa García Baquero, Coordinator of the Regional Palliative Care Program of the Healthcare system of the Madrid Community, reported that a national training programme that was introduced in 2008 changed the palliative care completely over the last six years in Spain. Panel 1 concluded that such training programmes require resources and called on national governments and health ministries to prioritize this training and to show the political will to change the status quo.