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The role of academic leagues as a strategy for pain education in Brazil

Authors Garcia JBS, Neto JOB, Rodrigues TA

Received 15 February 2019

Accepted for publication 31 May 2019

Published 19 June 2019 Volume 2019:12 Pages 1891—1898

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/JPR.S205481

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Erica Wegrzyn


João Batista Santos Garcia, José Osvaldo Barbosa Neto, Thiago Alves Rodrigues

Experimental Laboratory to the Study of Pain, Federal University of Maranhão, São Luis, Maranhão, Brazil

Purpose: Chronic pain remains undertreated in both developed and developing countries. There are various factors involved in this acknowledged health problem, including lack of pain education. In Brazil, a particular approach was used to mitigate the deficit in pain education. The academic leagues of pain (ALPs) were formed as associations of health undergraduate students with the goal of encouraging students in educational activities, patient care, and pain research. The aim of this study was to evaluate how ALP works and its contribution to pain education and to the inclusion of students in practical and scientific research activities, as well as its legacy in the field of pain.
Patients and methods: An electronic survey was directed to the leagues representatives to collect data referent to how the leagues operate, their individual approach towards pain education, patient care, research activities, and its impact on students after they graduate.
Results: A total of 17 leagues were identified and responded to the survey. Only three of the involved universities offered study of pain as a discipline in their mandatory curriculum. Patient care activities were carried out by 59% of the leagues, 94% provided educational activities. Twelve leagues reported that students were involved in one to four research projects in pain, and 59% of those chose pain as their subject for post-graduation programs. And, 47% of the leagues had students that sought specialization or residency in pain after graduation.
Conclusion: The Brazilian experience with academic leagues of pain has shown that it is possible to address curricular deficiencies in pain education through a strategy not well known in other countries.

Keywords: medical education, pain education, pain management, chronic pain

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