A Brief Educational Intervention About Pain and Aging for Older Members of the Community and Health Care Workers
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UNLABELLED: Developing educational interventions about pain may lead to improved pain management for older people. A public group educational session, entitled "Pain in the Older Person," was presented in 7 cities across Canada (Vancouver, Calgary, London, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, and Halifax). The presentation lasted approximately 90 minutes and was followed by a question and answer period of at least 20 minutes. Prior to the educational session, participants provided demographic data and completed measures of pain intensity, frequency, interference, and treatment; of subjective health; and of knowledge about pain. Following the session, participants completed the same knowledge items again as well as items assessing satisfaction. Data were provided by 54 health care workers (HCW) and 54 older community members (66.3 ± 10.2 years old). Prior to the educational session, knowledge gaps were evident among the older community members, especially about analgesic use. Among the HCW, knowledge gaps were found about addiction and the relationship between pain and aging. Comparison of knowledge scores before and after the educational session revealed that both groups demonstrated significant knowledge gains. Satisfaction scores were very high, with no significant difference between HCW and older community members. This is the first study to show that a brief educational intervention is associated with gains in knowledge about pain and aging among both older community members and HCW. These results suggest that a brief public educational session is a promising method of pain education that may reduce barriers to pain management in older people. PERSPECTIVE: This article describes the results of a brief public educational session about pain and aging attended by older members of the community and health care workers. This intervention could potentially improve pain management for older people.
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