Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Thesis Format

Integrated Article


Doctor of Philosophy


Health and Rehabilitation Sciences


Walton, David M.


There is little emphasis on pain management education for healthcare providers. In September 2019, the Master of Clinical Science (MClSc) program in Advanced Healthcare Practice at Western University in London, Ontario introduced a new, “Interprofessional Pain Management” (IPM) field. The program follows a competency-based framework, and the learners are all practicing healthcare providers with a special interest in pain. Part of the purpose of this thesis is to describe the process of development and implementation. The objective is to provide educators and healthcare providers an in-depth look at how the pain education is experienced. This includes exploring the lived experience of physiotherapy students participating in a pain elective course, the lived experience of the first cohort of the IPM field, and again the first cohort of the IPM program as they experience the phenomenon of sudden change in clinical encounters including mentorship during COVID-19. The three studies all followed a hermeneutic phenomenological research design. Single semi-structured in-depth interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim. Each study was supported and guided by the work of van Manen (2016) for analysis and in identifying themes. Themes are described in each study. In sharing the narratives of the participants from all three studies, we hope it encourages educators and healthcare providers to reflect deeply on their current pain management training and practice.

Summary for Lay Audience

Pain is a complex phenomenon. Academic writings supports that there needs to be an improvement to how caring for people in pain is taught. In September 2019, a new program was created, Interprofessional Pain Management. This master’s-level program was developed with the hope that it will help people working in healthcare improve how they treat and care for people in pain. In this thesis, three research studies were conducted. The first study looks at how physiotherapy students experienced taking a course on pain. The second study shares stories from the students who experienced the Interprofessional Pain Management program. The third study examines how the global pandemic, COVID-19 affected students who experienced the Interprofessional Pain Management program and how it changed the way they learned and worked.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.