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Challenges in pain education in Brazil: where are we going to?

During the last years, the Brazilian Society for the Study of Pain (Sociedade Brasileira para o Estudo da Dor (SBED)) experienced substantial growth. We are recognized by the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) as one of the most active chapters and with a great number of members. Our scientific journal, named since the last edition as Brazilian Journal of Pain has been improving its quality and is recognized by the academic community as an important journal. In addition, in the last administrations, we have reinforced the role of the scientific committees, mainly by promoting scientific symposiums more frequently and publishing the Committees’ Journal.

In this regard, the global year of excellence in education in pain is a subject of extreme importance in our field, since that despite all the arduous work of the IASP and the 192 regional chapters, pain is still undertreated11 Wilkinson P. Message from Global Year Task Force Chair. IASP; 2018. 1-6p.. Its slogan, ‘overcoming the gaps between knowledge and practice” clearly reflects the distance that exists between the knowledge produced and the knowledge applied in the population.

Several reasons contribute to this scenario, among them we can highlight the lack of disciplines that address this content in undergraduate courses and the precariousness of public health policies regarding pain management.

Our Brazilian Congress and the activities of the symposiums promoted by the committees are essential to creating awareness in healthcare students and professionals. However, we need to go beyond these activities since the issue of education in pain is considerably broad and complex. It goes from basic knowledge to elements that interfere with treatment compliance, production of educational material, aspects related to new methodologies of education (online courses, inverted classroom, among others), as well as the evaluation of acquired knowledge and the relationship between healthcare professionals and patients.

Therefore, it is necessary to rethink our educational practices, from the content taught to the evaluation methods, as well as the access to the knowledge produced and its translation into the clinical practice. The educational system crisis is a fact for about two decades. I think that this is the appropriate moment to think about this issue concerning the health sector and, in particular, about education and clinical management of pain.


  • 1
    Wilkinson P. Message from Global Year Task Force Chair. IASP; 2018. 1-6p.

Publication Dates

  • Publication in this collection
    Apr-Jun 2018
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