Pain education in pre-registration professional health courses: A protocol for a scoping review

Katherine Thompson*, James Milligan, Mark I. Johnson, Michelle Briggs

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Introduction Pain is a global health concern causing significant health and social problems with evidence that patients experiencing pain are receiving inadequate care. The content of pain education in pre-registration professional health courses is thought to be lacking both in the UK and internationally which is unacceptable considering the prevalence of pain. Evaluating the effect of education is complex in that the outcome (improved healthcare) is some distance from the educational approach. Best evidence medical education has been proposed as a continuum between â opinion-based teaching' and evidence-based teaching'. Searching for evidence to inform best practice in health education is complex. A scoping review provides a practical and comprehensive strategy to locate and synthesise literature of varied methodology including reports from a variety of sources. The aim of this article is to describe a protocol for a scoping review that will locate, map and report research, guidelines and policies for pain education in pre-registration professional health courses. The extent, range and nature of reports will be examined, and where possible titles for potential systematic review will be identified. Methods and analysis Reports will be included for review that are directly relevant to the development of the pain curriculum in pre-registration professional health courses, eg nursing, medicine, physiotherapy. The search strategy will identify reports that include [pain] AND [pre-registration education or curriculum] AND [health professionals] in the title or abstract. Two authors will independently screen retrieved studies against eligibility criteria. A numerical analysis regarding the extent, nature and distribution of reports will be given along with a narrative synthesis to describe characteristics of relevant reports. Ethics and dissemination Formal ethical approval was not required to undertake this scoping review. Findings will be published in scientific peer-reviewed journals and via conference presentations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number012001
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited.


  • Education and Training (See Medical Education and Training)
  • Pain Management


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