PainSA is a chapter of the International Association for the Study of Pain. Our mission is to improve all aspects of pain management in Southern Africa.

EPM: February 2022

No.1, Feb 2022
Welcome to the first EPM newsletter of 2022. We hope you and your families are remaining safe during this challenging time.

In this newsletter we look at some of the EPM online feedback and an evaluation from the Association of South East Asian Pain Societies (ASEAPS).

EPM online module

Hopefully most readers will know that we launched a new digital version of EPM at the World Congress of Anaesthesia Virtual meeting in September 2021.

There has been ongoing interest in this version of EPM and we have some early feedback to report.


The webpage has received over 5000 views which have translated into 271 participants completing the course, most starters occurred in September and October 2021.


Impact of education
Targeted relevance of education
At our usual face to face courses as part of our ongoing Quality Assurance we ask participants to answer three questions. What did you learn, what did you like, what can we do better.


These questions were also asked of the online participants and we report some of the feedback


What did you learn?

The RAT acronym

Information on non-pharmacological approaches

The good structure of the program

The importance of a multidisciplinary approach


What did you like the most?

Simple and interactive

Will be good for medical and nursing students

Practical case simulations

Nociceptive versus non-nociceptive


What could improve?

More discussion and help with barriers

Videos on non-pharmacological approaches

Include cases of babies and non-communicating adults e.g. those sedated

Can you do an advanced course


On completion of the online program respondents are offered the opportunity to join a 60 to 90 minute Zoom group session to discuss either their own cases or standard EPM cases. 50 respondents wanted to take up this offer and we will arrange a series of online group discussions in the next few months.


Overall we are pleased with this early feedback and will continue to promote this online version of EPM.


Please encourage your colleagues and contacts especially students to access this free course and use it as part of their continuing professional education. registration is free, then search for Essential Pain Management.


EPM and the IASP

EPM has been a component of the regular IASP supported Association of South East Asian Pain Societies (ASEAPS) pain camps since the Philippine meeting in 2015. This was followed by the pain camp in Myanmar in 2017 and Malaysia in 2019. We were delighted when IASP endorsed the new online format of EPM in 2021.


In 2018 the IASP began a series of meetings to develop a toolkit to support several countries in Southeast Asia to develop multidisciplinary pain centres.


An important part of the toolkit project was the development of a training program for clinicians involved in multidisciplinary pain clinics, presented as a series of workshops initially face-to-face but more recently virtually. The first training workshop was held in Yangon, Myanmar in August 2019, when all participants were required to have attended an EPM face to face workshop before attending that training, as EPM was seen as a good introduction to multidisciplinary pain medicine.


From May to July 2021, the training was held virtually for 40 participants from Indonesia. There were eight 4 hour sessions, and EPM was included in the first two sessions. The third training session was conducted for 60 participants from Vietnam in November/December 2021. As EPM online was available by then, participants were required to complete EPM online prior to workshop participation.


This gave us a good opportunity to evaluate EPM online and Dr Than Van Quyen from Danang who recently returned from an IASP/WFSA Fellowship at the Siriraj Pain Centre in Bangkok plans to present a poster at the IASP World Congress in Toronto. He shares some of his findings.


56 participants completed the online version of EPM prior to the Vietnam Toolkit meeting.

We have evaluations from 47 of them


Was the English understandable?

47 responses

1-Very difficult to understand – 5-Very easy to understand


Was it too simple or complex?

47 responses

1-Very simple – 5-Very complex


Was it relevant to your practice?

47 responses

1-Very irrelevant – 5-Very relevant


Would you recommend this course to your colleagues?

47 responses

1-strongly disagree – 5-strongly agree

The evaluation also gave the opportunity for anecdotal written feedback.

To the question “what information was new to you”. The flowing comments were made:


How to classify pain

Treatment of cancer pain

Non pharmacological pain management methods

Chronic neuropathic pain

Use of morphine

Almost everything was new

Nociplastic pain.


We feel this early feedback demonstrates that EPM contains useful new information and can be understood (at least in Vietnam) by non-English speaking participants.


If you know anyone who would be interested in this newsletter please feel free to pass it along.


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ANZCA: The Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA) is the professional medical body in Australia and New Zealand that conducts the education, training, and continuing professional development of anaesthetists and specialist pain medicine physicians.


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