Interprofessional (IP) care is critical for effective pain management, but evidence is lacking about the best way to teach pain management skills to medical and nursing students using IP strategies.
In 2013 and 2014, 307 medical and 169 nursing students participated in an IP case-based pain management workshop. Erickson and colleagues conducted a study to determine (1) if students who participate in IP case-based learning groups will have improved pain management skills compared to students who participate in uniprofessional case-based learning groups, and (2) if students mentored by faculty with IP training will have improved pain management skills compared to students who are not mentored by IP-trained faculty.
Student learning was assessed and compared using scored checklists for each group’s pain management plans. Findings show that IP mentorship and IP group participation improved medical students’ pain management skills but did not have the same effect on nursing student performance.
Continued work is needed to develop, refine, and integrate innovative and tailored IP strategies into the curricula of medical and nursing schools to advance the pain management competencies of students before they enter clinical practice.