An evidence-based program to improve analgesic practice and pain outcomes in residential aged care facilities

Savvas, Steven M., Toye, Chris M., Beattie, Elizabeth R. A. and Gibson, Stephen J. (2014) An evidence-based program to improve analgesic practice and pain outcomes in residential aged care facilities. Journal of The American Geriatrics Society, 62 8: 1583-1589. doi:10.1111/jgs.12935

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Author Savvas, Steven M.
Toye, Chris M.
Beattie, Elizabeth R. A.
Gibson, Stephen J.
Title An evidence-based program to improve analgesic practice and pain outcomes in residential aged care facilities
Journal name Journal of The American Geriatrics Society   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1532-5415
Publication date 2014-08
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/jgs.12935
Open Access Status
Volume 62
Issue 8
Start page 1583
End page 1589
Total pages 7
Place of publication Malden, MA, United States
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Collection year 2015
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Pain is common in individuals living in residential aged care facilities (RACFs), and a number of obstacles have been identified as recurring barriers to adequate pain management. To address this, the Australian Pain Society developed 27 recommendations for comprehensive good practice in the identification, assessment, and management of pain. This study reviewed preexisting pain management practice at five Australian RACFs and identified changes needed to implement the recommendations and then implemented an evidence-based program that aimed to facilitate better pain management. The program involved staff training and education and revised in-house pain-management procedures. Reviews occurred before and after the program and included the assessment of 282 residents for analgesic use and pain status. Analgesic use improved after the program (P < .001), with a decrease in residents receiving no analgesics (from 15% to 6%) and an increase in residents receiving around-the-clock plus as-needed analgesics (from 24% to 43%). There were improvements in pain relief for residents with scores indicative of pain, with Abbey pain scale (P = .005), Pain Assessment in Advanced Dementia Scale (P = .001), and Non-communicative Patient's Pain Assessment Instrument scale (P < .001) scores all improving. Although physical function declined as expected, Medical Outcomes Study 36-item Short-Form Survey bodily pain scores also showed improvement (P = .001). Better evidence-based practice and outcomes in RACFs can be achieved with appropriate training and education. Investing resources in the aged care workforce using this program improved analgesic practice and pain relief in participating sites. Further attention to the continued targeted pain management training of aged care staff is likely to improve pain-focused care for residents.
Keyword Pain
Pain management
Residential aged care
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2015 Collection
School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work Publications
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Created: Fri, 06 Feb 2015, 13:35:36 EST by Vicki Percival on behalf of School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work