Original Research - Special Collection: Pain Management and Palliative Care

Pain knowledge and attitudes of final-year medical students at the University of Cape Town: A cross-sectional survey

Blessing Mashanda-Tafaune, Janieke van Nugteren, Romy Parker
African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine | Vol 12, No 1 | a2306 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/phcfm.v12i1.2306 | © 2020 Blessing Mashanda-Tafaune, Janieke van Nugteren, Romy Parker | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 17 November 2019 | Published: 30 July 2020

About the author(s)

Blessing Mashanda-Tafaune, Department of Anesthesia and Perioperative Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa
Janieke van Nugteren, Department of Anesthesia and Perioperative Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa
Romy Parker, Department of Anesthesia and Perioperative Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa


Share this article

Bookmark and Share

Abstract

Background: Pain is the most common presenting complaint in patients visiting a healthcare facility. Healthcare professionals need adequate knowledge of pain to be able to manage it effectively.

Aim: The aim of this study was to determine the pain knowledge and attitudes of the 2018 final-year medical students at the University of Cape Town (UCT).

Setting: This study was conducted by the Department of Anaesthesia and Perioperative Medicine in the Faculty of Health Sciences, UCT, South Africa, with final-year medical students.

Methods: Unruh’s Modified Pain Knowledge and Attitudes (MPKA) questionnaire was utilised to collect data in a cross-sectional survey using an Internet-based electronic format.

Results: A total of 104 students out of 232 students in the class (44.8%) participated in the study. The total median score on the MPKA questionnaire was 46 (interquartile range [IQR] 44–50.5) out of 57, or 80.7% (IQR 77.2–88.6%). The participants performed worst in the section on the pharmacological management of pain with median scores of 6 (IQR 4–8) (55%) correct out of 11 questions.

Conclusion: Pain knowledge, especially with regard to the pharmacological aspects of pain management, has some important deficiencies in these final-year medical students. It appears that the undergraduate curriculum and teaching thereof would benefit from a review of the pain curriculum.


Keywords

pain knowledge; attitudes; medical students; University of Cape Town; pharmacological aspects of pain management

Metrics

Total abstract views: 125
Total article views: 33


Crossref Citations

No related citations found.