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Barriers to optimal pain management in aged care facilities: an Australian qualitative study


Veal, F and Williams, M and Bereznicki, L and Cummings, E and Thompson, A and Peterson, G and Winzenberg, T, Barriers to optimal pain management in aged care facilities: an Australian qualitative study, Pain Management Nursing, 19, (2) pp. 1-9. ISSN 1524-9042 (2018) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2017 Published by Elsevier Inc. on behalf of the American Society for Pain Management Nursing

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.pmn.2017.10.002


Up to 80% of residents in aged care facilities (ACFs) experience pain, which is often suboptimally managed. To characterize pain management in ACFs and identify the barriers to optimal pain management. An exploratory descriptive qualitative study using semistructured interviews. Five Southern Tasmania, Australian ACFs. 23 staff members (18 nurses and 5 facility managers). Interviews were conducted from September to November 2015. Interviews included questions about how pain was measured or assessed, what happened if pain was identified, barriers to pain management, and potential ways to overcome these barriers. Interviewees noted that there were no formal requirements regarding pain assessment at the ACFs reviewed; however, pain was often informally assessed. Staff noted the importance of adequate pain management for the residentsí quality of life and employed both nonpharmacologic and pharmacologic techniques to reduce pain when identified. The barriers to optimal pain management included difficulty identifying and assessing pain, residentsí resistance to reporting pain and/or taking medications, and communication barriers between the nursing staff and GPs. Staff interviewed were dedicated to managing residentsí pain effectively; however, actions in a number of areas could improve resident outcomes. These include a more consistent approach to documenting pain in residentsí progress notes and improving nurse-GP communications to ensure that new or escalating pain is identified and expedient changes can be made to the residentís management. Additionally, resident, family, nurse, and carer education, conducted within the facilities on a regular basis, could help improve the pain management of residents.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:pain, elderly, aged care facility
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Pharmacology and pharmaceutical sciences
Research Field:Clinical pharmacy and pharmacy practice
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Other health
Objective Field:Other health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Veal, F (Dr Felicity Veal)
UTAS Author:Williams, M (Dr Mackenzie Williams)
UTAS Author:Bereznicki, L (Professor Luke Bereznicki)
UTAS Author:Cummings, E (Associate Professor Liz Cummings)
UTAS Author:Thompson, A (Mr Angus Thompson)
UTAS Author:Peterson, G (Professor Gregory Peterson)
UTAS Author:Winzenberg, T (Professor Tania Winzenberg)
ID Code:122758
Year Published:2018 (online first 2017)
Web of Science® Times Cited:11
Deposited By:Pharmacy
Deposited On:2017-11-27
Last Modified:2018-07-27

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