Tan Tock Seng Hospital1
Pain results in debilitating consequences to an individual’s function, social roles and quality of life. Healthcare professionals play an important role in patient’s pain management. A common concern is knowledge gaps toward pain management. The objective of the study is to explore current knowledge on pain management amongst entry-level physiotherapists.
Entry-level physiotherapists who work within the outpatient physiotherapy clinic at Tan Tock Seng hospital (n=12) completed a survey on a single occasion. The survey included demographic questions, the Moseley Neurophysiology of Pain Questionaire (NPQ) and the modified KnowPain-12 survey (mKP). Data were collected over a period of three months from January 2019 to March 2019. Data were analysed by descriptive statistics.
12 surveys were returned. 33% (n=4) of the participants reported no prior pain training or education.
For the NPQ, the mean of the total correct answers was 8.16 out of 13 (total score if all items answered correctly) with a range of scores between 5 to 11. 3 out of 12 (33%) participants scored below the passing mark. For the mKP, in items 1, 7 and 9, 5 (41.7%) surveyed physiotherapists answered incorrectly, whereas 7 (58.3%) were correct. For item 5, 4 (33%) answered wrongly while 8 (66%) were correct. These results suggest large variability of pain knowledge amongst participants.
The study findings demonstrated that entry-level physiotherapists received varied amount of pain education, and large variability in pain knowledge upon work entry. Therefore, an on-the-job pain training may be needed to improve knowledge gaps toward pain management.