Last week, we announced we were looking for expressions of interest for the first applicants to our Local Pain Educator Network. We were blown away by the response on social media and email to this educational initiative.
For now, we’re only accepting applications from a small part of Australia, however we had a huge positive response to this announcement. We got emails from the US, the UK, Germany and all over other parts of Australia. This is an enormously exciting response for a revolution in how we help people living with persisting pain.
Given we had such an overwhelming response to the concept of the Local Pain Educator Network, we thought we’d expand the idea a bit more, and share our vision for this initiative.
We’re creating a network of Local Pain Educators (LPE's) teaching an evidence-based syllabus about pain, and pain recovery. We know from research and clinical experience that understanding pain has a positive effect on recovery, that people in pain have a hard time telling their story and being heard, and that a pain education curriculum doesn’t fit well into a standard model of health care.
Pain Revolution is about much more than a bike ride, and we're committed to ongoing community action. The ride is a personal challenge experience for the cyclist that join us (and they're not professional cyclists!), and our flashy lycra helps us to bring awareness to this massive problem in rural areas. The Brain Bus and the educational events we’re running in those communities are a chance for people in pain to hear something different about pain, and recovery from persisting pain. Ongoing community level support and action via the LPE Network is a way to provide sustainable support to people in pain in rural locations.
Aims of the Local Pain Educator Network
The LPE Network is our way of using the wealth of research into pain neuroscience and education, and creating a framework for it to be delivered at a community level. Our aim is to take a whole community approach to encourage people to rethink the causes of, and solutions to, persistent pain; to give health providers and people in pain the confidence, skills and resources to re- engage with active evidence-based approaches to improving quality of life and to take a self- management approach to recovery.
We’re looking for rural health care professionals that are committed to community action, and taking pain education outside the clinic doors and in to people’s lives. The aim of the Local Pain Educator program is to improve pain literacy with a model that builds capacity and empowers the community. Understanding the biopsychosocial model of pain care means that we’re most effective if we can partner with people in their social environments and acknowledge that many of the barriers to changing pain are not purely health-related. A network of community educators teaching an evidence-based and practical curriculum gives us a chance to break down some of the barriers that people in pain face in getting help.
We’ve partnered with the University of South Australia to offer a scholarship to successful applicants to the LPE network. Successful applicants will be trained and up-skilled via a comprehensive program of online academic training, one-to-one mentoring and development of pain resources tailored to their own community and context. With mentor support, these LPEs will drive a pain revolution in their local community.
Together LPE’s and mentors will work closely to understand the challenges facing their community, implementation of best practice biopsychosocial care for pain, problem solve clinical and educational challenges, and develop a plan for their community engagement. The network will also enable peer support and shared experience to ensure that even in rural areas, nobody feels alone in working with this challenging healthcare problem.
Building a movement one community at a time
We know this is not an Australian problem alone, and we’re working towards enabling others to use our whole community approach to pain education. We’re working to support a few communities at a time, and research the efficacy of the program in these communities before opening it to other locations.
UPDATE: we've closed our 2018 applications and are looking forward to announcing our first cohort of Local Pain educators soon. Stay in touch for when we re-open the application process for 2019 and beyond.
We have support from some fantastic sponsors to make the 2018 Pain Revolution Ride happen. We’re riding into rural NSW in April 2018 thanks to the help of AIA, UniSA, APA, APS and NOI. The riders have committed to fundraising for the Local Pain Educator Network via our Everyday Hero site (coming soon!)
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