Advancing the pain management in older adults agenda forward through the development of key research and education priorities: A Canadian perspective Academic Article uri icon

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  • Background: The undermanagement of pain in older adults has been identified as a problem worldwide. Aims: The purpose of this research is to identify priority areas in education and research for future development with the aim of improving pain management in older persons. In addition, barriers to addressing these priorities are identified. Methods: This mixed methods study, based on a modified Delphi approach, included three distinct components: (1) a qualitative component using focus groups with key informants or experts in the field of pain management in older adults (n = 17), (2) a scoping review of the literature, and (3) a survey of ranked responses completed by the same key informants who attended the focus groups. Thematic analysis was used to identify the initial list of issues and descriptive statistics were used for ranking them. Results: A number of concerns related to both education and research were frequently endorsed by participants. For education, they identified the need for more content in both undergraduate and continuing education programs related to documenting about pain; assessing pain, and learning about the complexities of pain. Research priorities included the need to explore successful practice models; costs of untreated pain; effects of mobility on pain; and patient preferences for pain management. Key barriers to addressing these barriers included lack of staff time and resources and unfamiliarity with pain assessment tools. Conclusion: These findings highlight priority issues related to pain management in older adults from a nationwide perspective.


  • Kaasalainen, Sharon June
  • Zacharias, Ramesh
  • Hill, Courtney
  • Wickson-Griffiths, Abigail
  • Hadjistavropoulos, Thomas
  • Herr, Keela

publication date

  • January 1, 2017