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Pain Research and Management
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 6493463, 13 pages
Research Article

Increasing the Frequency and Timeliness of Pain Assessment and Management in Long-Term Care: Knowledge Transfer and Sustained Implementation

1Department of Psychology & Centre on Aging and Health, University of Regina, 3737 Wascana Parkway, Regina, SK, Canada S4S 0A2
2Centre on Aging and Health, University of Regina, 3737 Wascana Parkway, Regina, SK, Canada S4S 0A2
3School of Nursing, McMaster University, 1280 Main Street West, HSC 3N25F, Hamilton, ON, Canada L8S 4K1
4Department of Psychology, St. Thomas More College, University of Saskatchewan, 1437 College Dr, Saskatoon, SK, Canada S7N 0W6
5Strategic Affairs, Ste. Anne’s Hospital, 305 Boulevard des Anciens-Combattants, Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, QC, Canada H9X 1Y9
6Faculty of Nursing, University of Regina, 3737 Wascana Parkway, Regina, SK, Canada S4S 0A2

Received 2 October 2015; Accepted 17 December 2015

Copyright © 2016 Thomas Hadjistavropoulos et al. 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. Although feasible protocols for pain assessment and management in long-term care (LTC) have been developed, these have not been implemented on a large-scale basis. Objective. To implement a program of regular pain assessment in two LTC facilities, using implementation science principles, and to evaluate the process and success of doing so. Methods. The implementation protocol included a pain assessment workshop and the establishment of a nurse Pain Champion. Quality indicators were tracked before and after implementation. Focus groups and interviews with staff were also conducted. Results. The implementation effort was successful in increasing and regularizing pain assessments. This was sustained during the follow-up period. Staff members reported enthusiasm about the protocol at baseline and positive results following its implementation. Despite the success in increasing assessments, we did not identify changes in the percentages of patients reported as having moderate-to-severe pain. Discussion. It is our hope that our feasibility demonstration will encourage more facilities to improve their pain assessment/management practices. Conclusions. It is feasible to implement regular and systematic pain assessment in LTC. Future research should focus on ensuring effective clinical practices in response to assessment results, and determination of longer-term sustainability.