A case vignette study to assess the knowledge of pain physicians of neuropathic cancer pain: room for improvement

Virginie Piano, Michel Lanteri-Minet, Monique Steegers, Kees Besse, Anne Donnet, Stans Verhagen, Chris Van Weel, Yvonne Engels, Kris Vissers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: In more and more countries, a specific pain education curriculum is provided to instruct pain physicians. However, there is little literature on pain education and in particularly how to evaluate their knowledge. One of the modules interesting to assess is the use of clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) by pain physicians.

OBJECTIVES: The aim was to investigate if a case vignette is useful to evaluate pain physicians' knowledge about recommendations contained in CPGs.

SETTING: An email survey was conducted with the support of the Societe Francaise d'Etude et de Traitement de la Douleur to all pain specialists (primary and secondary care) in France.

METHODS: The survey consisted of a case vignette about a patient with pain suffering from an intractable pancreatic cancer with multiple choice questions about diagnosis and treatment of pain. Percentages of participants who treated the patient as suggested in the CPGs were calculated.

RESULTS: A total of 214 of those invited to participate (921) answered the questionnaire (24%). More than 85% of the respondents declared to know and use CPGs. Half of the participants diagnosed and treated neuropathic pain components in the case vignette according to the recommendations in the CPGs.

LIMITATIONS: This exercise needed to be explained: pain physicians should be trained to this kind of questionnaire. It explains the low response rate and the progressive diminution of responders during the questionnaire.

CONCLUSIONS: Case vignette is an interesting instrument for pain education because it is cheap, easy to use, and can be repeated. However, training before using this instrument is needed for pain physicians, in particular during their pain education.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E779-88
JournalPain Physician
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 29 Nov 2013


  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Education, Medical, Continuing/methods
  • Female
  • France
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms/complications
  • Neuralgia/diagnosis
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms/complications
  • Physicians
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Specialization

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