Knowledge of physical therapy students and professionals about pain: a systematic review
Main Article Content
Studies show that physical therapy students and professionals have limited knowledge about various aspects of the subject “pain”. This may result in inadequate approach and increases the patients’ suffering. Thus, it was aimed to review studies that investigated the physiotherapy students’ and professionals’ knowledge about pain, as well as to propose strategies for changing it. This is a systematic review in which EBSCOhost, LILACS, PubMed, REDALYC and SciELO databases were consulted by crossing the following keywords and its matching terms in Portuguese: “pain”, “knowledge”, “education”, “curriculum”, “physical therapy specialty”. Crosssectional or experimental studies addressing knowledge about pain clinical and pathophysiological aspects, and management were eligible. Studies that tested strategies to modify knowledge about pain were also qualified. Screening by title and abstract resulted in 84 studies. However, only five studies were included, which analyzed the knowledge about general aspects of pain and were published between 2003 and 2016. Only 60% of studies investigated volunteers from the field of physical therapy, whereas 100% of them had their knowledge verified in self-reported questionnaires. Four studies used validated questionnaires. Only 20% of them tested strategies to modify the knowledge about pain. The results of this review are that the topic “pain” is addressed as sub-topic only. Although it allows learning, it is not enough to ensure it. Physical therapy professionals are inconsistent as to theoretical knowledge and practice on pain management and human assistance. Teaching and learning strategies may improve students’ knowledge about pain.
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