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The Education Study is an ongoing research project by the European Pain Federation EFIC in which the EFIC Education Committee are examining the provision of compulsory pain education and availability of postgraduate pain specialisation options for physicians, physiotherapists, nurses, and psychologists across Europe. This study is an update and extension of the 2015 APPEAL study which examined inclusion of pain in medical curricula in 15 European countries. In the current study, quality of pain education will be bench-marked against the four European Pain Federation EFIC Curricula for pain medicine, pain physiotherapy, pain psychology, and pain nursing to identify gaps in learning.


Steering Committee

The study is led by EFIC Research Projects Advisor Dr Mary O’Keeffe. Steering Committee members are: Professor Harriet Wittink, Associate Professor Brona Fullen, Professor Bart Morlion, Professor Ed Keogh, Professor Emma Briggs, Dr Andreas Kopf, and Professor Frank Huygen.


  1. Understand the compulsory pain education curricula provided in undergraduate education for key healthcare professional (HCP) groups per country
  2. Understand the availability of post-graduate pain specialisation options for key HCP groups per country
  3. Identify individuals and groups aiming to develop pain specialist sections for key HCP groups per country



Our Methodology consists of:

  1. Survey to seek curriculum information from medical, physiotherapy, nursing, and psychology schools across Europe
  2. Focus groups and interviews with a purposive sample of survey respondents based on inclusion of pain in curricula, key opinion leaders in pain education, and EFIC councillors
  3. Consensus meetings/workshops with the Steering Committee (plus additional input of pain forum organisations leadership)



The European Pain Federation EFIC received an unrestricted one-time grant of €32.000,- by Grünenthal for this study.