Professors Lorimer Moseley (University of South Australia, AU) and Cormac Ryan (Teesside University, UK) are leading an EFIC-endorsed, international, interdisciplinary, team of Pain Science Education researchers known as the PETAL (Pain Education Team Aspiring better Learning) group. The team has representation from several countries across five continents.
The group are embarking upon an ambitious project which will begin by publishing a series of state-of-the-art articles on Pain Science Education. The aim of the project is to present a comprehensive overview of contemporary pain education to multiple audiences including the wider general medical community, the public health community, and pain specialists. The project will also present clear calls to action for policy, primary and tertiary care decision makers, and clinicians.
Petal will explore the use of pain science education as a tool for consumer education to improve pain related health literacy in keeping with the World health Organisations focus on improving health literacy globally: “Improving health literacy in populations provides the foundation on which citizens are enabled to play an active role in improving their own health, engage successfully with community action for health, and push governments to meet their responsibilities in addressing health and health equity.” WHO (https://www.who.int/activities/improving-health-literacy)
In this, PETAL’s work aligns closely with EFIC’s advocacy work, in particular EFIC’s focus on improving pain related health literacy as part of its “Plain Talking” initiative and its call to action: “People living with pain have a right to understand their condition and clinicians should communicate this in a clear and comprehensible way by adjusting their language to meet the person’s needs. The outcome of this is improved knowledge and empowerment for the person living with pain and the capacity to engage in a meaningful way with their clinician.”