Investigators in the University of Iowa College of Public Health are part of an interdisciplinary team at the university that has been designated one of 11 Centers for Excellence in Pain Education (CoEPE) by the National Institutes of Health Pain Consortium. The centers, recognized as leaders in advancing the science and care of patients in pain, were selected by the NIH to help improve pain education for undergraduate and graduate health professional students.
Dr. Tanya Uden-Holman, clinical professor of health management and policy and associate dean for academic affairs in the College of Public Health, joins a UI team led by Dr. Keela Herr, professor and associate dean for faculty in the College of Nursing and primary investigator for UI’s CoEPE. Others team members include co-principal investigators Drs. Kathleen Sluka and Dana Dailey, both from the College of Medicine–physical therapy.
According to the NIH, chronic pain affects about 100 million Americans, costing up to $635 billion in medical treatment and lost productivity and contributing to poor quality of life. Yet, pain treatment is not extensively taught in many health professional schools.
The goal of the CoEPE initiative is to develop enduring e-learning pain modules to advance the assessment, diagnosis, and safe treatment of pain. Emphasis on inter-professional collaboration in providing quality pain care underlies the case development and will be evaluated through testing of learning modules in inter-professional course activities.
The initial award to the University of Iowa is $77,871, with a maximum award of $914,562 over five years. The final award amount will be determined by the number of modules the project team and National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) choose to execute.