An evaluation of a one-day pain science education event in a high school setting targeting pain related beliefs, knowledge, and behavioural intentions

Jaj Mankelow, Deepak Ravindran, Andy Graham, Sophie Suri, Joshua Pate, Cormac Ryan, Denis Martin

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Abstract

Background: Persistent pain is a common condition affecting one in four UK adults. Public understanding of pain is limited. Delivering pain education within schools may improve public understanding in the longer term.
Objective: To evaluate the impact of a one-day Pain Science Education (PSE) event on sixth form/high school students’ pain beliefs, knowledge and behavioural intention.
Methods: Exploratory, single-site, mixed-methods, single-arm study involving secondary school students ≥16 years old attending a one-day PSE event. Outcome measures included the Pain Beliefs Questionnaire (PBQ), Concepts of Pain Inventory (COPI-ADULT), a vignette to assess pain behaviours; and thematic analysis of semi-structured interviews.
Results: Ninety (mean age 16.5 years, 74% female) of the 114 attendees, agreed to
participate in the evaluation. PBQ scores improved on the Organic beliefs subscale [mean difference -5.9 (95% CI -6.8, -5.0), P<0.01] and Psychosocial Beliefs subscale [1.6 (1.0, 2.2) P<0.01]. The COPI-Adult revealed an improvement [7.1 (6.0 to 8.1) points, P<0.01] between baseline and post intervention. Pain behavioural intentions improved post education for work, exercise, and bed rest related activities (p<0.05). Thematic analysis of interviews (n=3) identified increased awareness of chronic pain and its underpinning biology, beliefs that
pain education should be widely available, and that pain management should be holistic.
Conclusions: A one-day PSE event public health event can improve pain beliefs, knowledge and behavioural intentions in high school students and increase openness to holistic management. Future controlled studies are needed to confirm these results and investigate potential long-term impacts.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102818
JournalMusculoskeletal Science and Practice
Volume66
Early online date27 Jun 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jul 2023

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