BACKGROUND: Access to pain education for healthcare professionals is an International Association for the Study of Pain's key recommendation to improve pain care. The content of preregistration and undergraduate physical therapy pain curricula, however, is highly variable.
OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to develop a list, by consensus, of essential pain-related topics for the undergraduate physical therapy curriculum.
METHODS: A modified Delphi study was conducted in four rounds, including a Delphi Panel (N = 22) consisting of in pain experienced lecturers of preregistration undergraduate physical therapy of Universities of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands, and five Validation Panels. Round 1: topics were provided by the Delphi Panel, postgraduate pain educators, and a literature search. Rounds 2-4: the Delphi Panel rated the topics and commented. All topics were analyzed in terms of importance and degree of consensus. Validation Panels rated the outcome of Round 2.
RESULTS: The Delphi Panel rated 257, 146, and 90 topics in Rounds 2, 3, and 4, respectively. This resulted in 71 topics judged as "not important," 97 as "important," and 89 as "highly important." In total, 63 topics were rated as "highly important" by the Delphi Panel and Validation Panels.
CONCLUSION: A list was developed and can serve as a foundation for the development of comprehensive physical therapy pain curricula.
- physical therapy