ESP Shows Efficacy In Evidence-Based Care Of Chronic Pain Patients

October 6, 2010

Contact: Joan Meyer
MediCom Worldwide, Inc.
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– Physicians are increasingly utilizing the Internet and, in particular, trusted independent websites as an essential component of obtaining professional information, as a source of continuing medical education (CME), and as a communication lifeline at the point of care.

Emerging Solutions in Pain (ESP) was launched in 2005 with a leading cadre of experts in pain management and addiction medicine. ESP has developed into a robust and multi award-winning ongoing educational initiative which provides an array of information, resources, tools, and case studies to highlight and educate clinicians on the complexities surrounding the management of chronic pain. It aims to inform clinicians of methods of communication, ways in which risk of abuse may be measured, and how to integrate these strategies into an individualized treatment plan. Membership is free to all health care professionals.

The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of two Internet-based CME activities, Assessment Strategies and Practical Approaches to Successful Monitoring of Chronic Pain, and Minimizing Risk and Improving Outcomes in Chronic Pain, included on the educational initiative ESP. Both programs focused on the safe and effective treatment of chronic pain while minimizing the risks of misuse.

Here is a summary of the study:

Objective: To determine the effectiveness of two online ESP CME activities that focused on the treatment of chronic pain in the context of opioid misuse.

Methods: A post-activity study was conducted using case-based surveys that were sent to a total of 50 participants and to a demographically similar control group of 50 nonparticipants to determine the impact of two CME activities on the practice patterns and knowledge of physicians who manage chronic pain patients. An effect size was calculated using Cohen's d to determine the difference between the two groups with respect to the likelihood of making evidence-based clinical decisions.

Results: Participants in these two activities were found to be more likely to practice evidence-based care than nonparticipants, especially in the following areas: using a strategic precautionary approach (P = .086); utilizing multimodal therapy (P = .059); interpreting urine drug testing results appropriately (P = .131); and utilizing a standard risk assessment tool such as the ORT or SOAPP® (P = .06).

Conclusions: Physicians who participated in ESP CME activities are more likely to practice evidence-based care than those physicians who did not participate in these activities. Based on the large effect size (30%), the ESP online CME education shows promise in offering effective, credible, and high-impact education.

Disclosure: This study was supported by independent educational grants from Cephalon, Inc., Endo Pharmaceuticals, PriCara, Division of Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and Purdue Pharma L.P.

About MediCom Worldwide, Inc. ( Emerging Solutions in Pain is an educational service provided by MediCom Worldwide, Inc. MediCom is a full-service, accredited and independent medical education company that has educated more than a million health care professionals through more than 900 diverse educational activities. MediCom’s expertise lies in developing compliant, scientifically rigorous and outcomes-based quality content built on demonstrated educational gaps, and implemented with cutting-edge technological delivery mechanisms in multiple delivery formats that facilitate adult learner centered education.

Corona Productions, Inc. ( produces the cutting-edge technology for the development of ESP.