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A TEAM of researchers at Dartmouth Medical School in Hanover, NH, is hoping to ease the long-standing problem of undertreated cancer pain with technology designed to win the hearts and minds of clinicians.
In a recently launched study targeting physicians in community-based settings in rural New England, the Dartmouth group is combining a computer-driven interactive videodisc program with other measures aimed at changing the attitudes and behavior of clinicians toward treating patients with cancer-related pain. Their hope: that a program that allows users to interact with actual or simulated patients in a learning situation that mimics clinical decision making will engage physicians emotionally as well as intellectually, driving home the importance of identifying and managing cancer pain.
While the medium is fairly new, the message is not—though it's one that pain experts say needs to be heard and embraced, as the ongoing international debate over physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia underscores.
Stephenson J. Researchers Hope Techno-Teaching Will Improve Cancer Pain Treatment. JAMA. 1996;276(22):1783-1786. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03540220007003