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Inexpensive Online Pain Education Program for Physicians as Effective as Live Presentations by National Experts

TUCSON, Ariz., Feb. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Medical Directions, Inc. (MDI), an independent digital medical education and publishing company, announces that its popular online physician education program dealing with the management of chronic pain has been shown to be as educationally effective as live lectures by national experts.

The study, which was funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), was reported February 5, 2008 in an advance online publication in the prestigious journal Pain Medicine. Researchers compared the online education program, authored by a group of pain experts, to live presentations by other experts, led by Dr. Scott Fishman, the President of the American Academy of Pain Medicine. Both educational programs were based on national medical guidelines that encourage physicians to utilize a comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach to chronic pain rather than rely on pain medications such as oxycodone.

Data from 95 practicing primary care physicians who were randomly assigned to spend 4 hours in one of the two pain programs or in a third live meeting unrelated to chronic pain showed that the physicians attending both pain education programs had comparable improvements in their pain management knowledge and beliefs and that these improvements lasted at least 3 months. Physicians attending the third (control) meeting showed no such improvement. Educational outcomes were evaluated using a reliable and valid pain education survey that was also developed with NINDS funding.

Dr. John Harris Jr., the lead author on the report and the President of MDI described the importance of the research findings, "Chronic pain is a huge problem that perplexes physicians and patients. Many experts recognize that physicians need better education in this area, particularly education that is free from drug company promotion, but until now the resources to do this have been limited by time and expertise. We now have an effective, inexpensive Internet pain management education program that is quite popular with physicians and also as effective as live national experts."

The online pain education program, "Improving Outcomes in Chronic Pain" is authored by Drs. Charles Cabal, Bennet Davis, and Thomas Elliott. It provides up to 14.5 AMA PRA Category 1(TM) CME credits for $15 each. It is available to physicians via The Virtual Lecture Hall (, a physician education Website supported by physician subscribers and owned by MDI.

About MDI -- MDI is a privately held company that works with academic medical centers, professional organizations, and government agencies to develop, evaluate, and distribute online education programs for health professionals. For more information, please visit

SOURCE Medical Directions, Inc.
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