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J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2019 Mar 22. pii: S1525-8610(19)30190-2. doi: 10.1016/j.jamda.2019.01.156. [Epub ahead of print]

Factors Associated With Pain Assessment for Nursing Home Residents: A Systematic Review and Meta-Synthesis.

Author information

1
Faculty of Health Disciplines, Athabasca University, Athabasca, Alberta, Canada; Translating Research in Elder Care (TREC), University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Electronic address: jknopp@athabascau.ca.
2
Translating Research in Elder Care (TREC), University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; Faculty of Kinesiology, Western University, London, Ontario, Canada.
3
Translating Research in Elder Care (TREC), University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

The burden of pain in nursing home residents is substantial; unfortunately, many times it goes undiagnosed and is inadequately treated. To improve identification of pain in this population, we aimed to review and synthesize findings from qualitative studies that report primary barriers and facilitators to pain assessment in nursing home residents.

DESIGN:

This is a Cochrane-style systematic review and narrative synthesis of qualitative evidence adhering to PRISMA guidelines. Databases were searched from inception to June 2018, supplemented by hand searching of references. We assessed the quality of included studies using the Critical Appraisal Skills Program Quality Appraisal Checklist.

SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS:

We included studies conducted in nursing homes. Studies focused on nursing home residents, nursing home staff, or both.

MEASURES:

Extracted data were subject to thematic analyses and were collated and summarized into 3 groups: resident, health care provider, and health care system factors.

RESULTS:

Thirty-one studies met our inclusion criteria. Resident factors had 3 subthemes: physical or cognitive impairments, attitudes and beliefs, and social/cultural/demographic characteristics. Health care provider factors had 3 subthemes: knowledge and skills, attitudes and beliefs, and social/cultural/demographic characteristics. Health care system-level factors had 3 subthemes: interpersonal factors, resources, and policy. Key barriers to pain assessment included the presence of resident cognitive impairment, health care providers' lack of knowledge, and the breakdown of communication across organizational hierarchies. Key facilitators to pain assessment included the identification of pain-related behaviors in residents, the experience and skills of health care providers, and establishing facility-level pain assessment protocols and guidelines.

CONCLUSION AND IMPLICATIONS:

Findings from this review identify primary barriers and facilitators to pain assessment in nursing home residents, highlighting key considerations for stakeholders, including health care providers, and health care policy decision makers. These efforts have the potential to improve the identification of pain in residents, and may ultimately improve pain management and residents' quality of life.

KEYWORDS:

Nursing home residents; barriers and facilitators; nursing homes; pain assessment; systematic review

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