|The Project ECHO Persistent Pain program was set up, in partnership with TAC and WorkSafe Victoria from February 2020 to June 2021, to assist primary care clinicians in western Victoria to better manage and support patients with persistent pain. The program has now concluded.|
The program involved a series of teleECHO sessions for primary care clinicians in regions where there is limited access to specialist pain clinicians or pain services. It also aimed to build capacity of clinicians to provide greater coordinated support where patients live.
WVPHN facilitated an expert panel of pain specialists from Barwon Health, Transport Accident Commission and WorkSafe Victoria for each session. A specific pain topic and case study discussion were held during the sessions that were broadcast to registered participants throughout western Victoria.
The Persistent Pain program consisted of 30 sessions across three series’. Topics for each session were developed based on feedback from primary care clinicians across the WVPHN region and included:
- Fundamentals of pain
- Assessment for primary care clinicians
- Psychology of pain
- Physical management
- Pharmacology of pain
- Chronic back pain
- Sleep management
- Pelvic pain
Series 2 of the Project ECHO persistent pain network was evaluated by University of Sydney, Menzies Centre of Health Policy and Economics. The evaluation found, on average, 30 participants attended each session.
Feedback for participants was very positive with:
- 89 per cent saying it improved their knowledge about best practice chronic pain management
- 83 per cent said it improved their skills
- 78 per cent reporting it improved their confidence to manage patients with chronic pain.
More than three quarters of participants also reported participation in ECHO improved the quality of care of patients with chronic pain.