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Pain Research and Management
Volume 17, Issue 5, Pages 341-346
Original Article

Educational Needs of Health Care Providers Working in Long-Term Care Facilities with Regard to Pain Management

Yannick Tousignant-Laflamme,1,2 Michel Tousignant,1,3 David Lussier,4,5 Paule Lebel,6 Maryse Savoie,7 Lyne Lalonde,8,9,10 and Manon Choinière11,12

1School of Rehabilitation, Université de Sherbrooke, Canada
2Centre de recherche Clinique Etienne-LeBel, Centre hospitalier universitaire de Sherbrooke, Canada
3Research Centre on Aging, Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, Canada
4Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Montréal, Université de Montréal, Canada
5Division of Geriatric Medicine and Alan-Edwards Centre for Research on Pain, McGill University, Canada
6Centre de pédagogie appliquée aux sciences de la santé, Faculté de médecine, Université de Montréal, Montreal, canada
7Hôpital Ste-Anne, Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, Canada
8Faculté de pharmacie, Université de Montréal, Montreal, Canada
9Sanofi-Aventis Endowment Chair in Ambulatory Pharmaceutical Care, Faculté de pharmacie and Centre de santé et de services sociaux de Laval, Canada
10Équipe de recherche en soins de première ligne, Centre de santé et de services sociaux de Laval, Laval, Canada
11Centre de recherche, Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal, Canada
12Department of Anesthesiology, Faculté de médecine, Université de Montréal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Copyright © 2012 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


BACKGROUND: The prevalence of chronic pain ranges from 40% to 80% in long-term care facilities (LTCF), with the highest proportion being found among older adults and residents with dementia. Unfortunately, pain in older adults is underdiagnosed, undertreated, inadequately treated or not treated at all. A solution to this problem would be to provide effective and innovative interdisciplinary continuing education to health care providers (HCPs).

OBJECTIVE: To identify the educational needs of HCPs working in LTCF with regard to pain management.

METHODS: A qualitative research design using the nominal group technique was undertaken. Seventy-two HCPs (21 physicians/pharmacists, 15 occupational/physical therapists, 24 nurses and 21 orderlies) were recruited from three LTCF in Quebec. Each participant was asked to provide and prioritize a list of the most important topics to be addressed within a continuing education program on chronic pain management in LTCF.

RESULTS: Forty topics were generated across all groups, and six specific topics were common to at least three out of the four HCP groups. Educational need in pain assessment was ranked the highest by all groups. Other highly rated topics included pharmacological treatment of pain, pain neurophysiology, nonpharmacological treatments and how to distinguish pain expression from other behaviours.

CONCLUSION: The present study showed that despite an average of more than 10 years of work experience in LTCF, HCPs have significant educational needs in pain management, especially pain assessment. These results will help in the development of a comprehensive pain management educational program for HCPs in LTCF.