Supporting staff to identify residents in pain: A controlled pretest-posttest study in residential aged care

Douglas, Clint, Haydon, Deborah, & Wollin, Judy (2016) Supporting staff to identify residents in pain: A controlled pretest-posttest study in residential aged care. Pain Management Nursing, 17(1), pp. 25-37.

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Practical strategies are needed to improve pain awareness among aged care staff and promote a systematic approach to pain identification using evidence-based tools. The purpose of this study was to evaluate a pain identification tool for use by nursing and non-professional staff in residential aged care facilities (RACFs). A controlled pretest-posttest intervention design was conducted in two RACFs in Brisbane, Australia. Completed surveys were returned by 216 staff and 74 residents at baseline and 218 staff and 94 residents at 3-month follow-up. Chart audits were conducted on 308 residents at baseline and 328 at follow-up. Groups were compared on:

(1) staff knowledge and attitudes regarding pain, perceived confidence and skills for pain assessment, and perceived quality of pain management;

(2) frequency of pain assessments and use of pain interventions, and;

(3) residents’ perceptions of the quality of pain management.

Both groups had high knowledge scores and reported high levels of confidence, skills and perceived quality of pain management at baseline and follow-up. The intervention group showed significant improvement in routine pain assessment and use of non-drug pain interventions. However, due to unexpected changes in control group conditions, both groups increased episodic pain assessment. Overall, staff believed the intervention was clinically useful and fostered a team approach to pain assessment. We found the introduction of pain identification resources with implementation strategies to support frontline staff was partially effective in improving staff and resident outcomes. Nonetheless, our findings confirm the need for change and importance of translational pain research in RACFs.

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ID Code: 86745
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Nursing, Pain assessment, Pain identification, Quality improvement, Residential aged care, Staff education
DOI: 10.1016/j.pmn.2015.08.001
ISSN: 1532-8635
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > NURSING (111000) > Aged Care Nursing (111001)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Nursing
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 American Society for Pain Management Nursing
Deposited On: 24 Aug 2015 03:06
Last Modified: 05 Mar 2017 17:14

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