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Free Content Health care professionals' accounts of chronic pain management for older adults

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Background: Attitudes of health care professionals (HCPs) impact on their management of chronic pain in older adults. It is important to understand the approaches of HCPs in their management of older adults with chronic pain, in order to address negative attitudes, and provide more targeted education and behavioural change strategies.

Aim: This study aimed to explore current attitudes and approaches to pain management of older adults, from the perspectives of HCPs' representing multidisciplinary teams.

Methods: A convenience sample of HCPs was contacted via email and follow up postal invite. Semi-structured interviews were audiotaped and transcribed and independently reviewed for themes by two researchers utilising a thematic analysis approach, until it was agreed data saturation had been reached.

Results: Thirteen (46%) of 28 participants invited agreed to be interviewed and subsequently took part in an interview. Six themes were found comprising; mobility communication, psychology, physiology, time, and resources.

Conclusion: HCPs' attitudes influenced their reported behaviour and these attitudes were projected on to those patients they treated. Their perceptions were often linked to beliefs that older adults would act or think in a certain way, despite evidence suggesting otherwise. These themes will be used to assist in the development of a questionnaire designed to measure attitudes of HCPs in the management of chronic pain in older adults.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2015

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  • Pain and Rehabilitation is a peer-reviewed, Bi-annual journal of the Physiotherapy Pain Association and special interest group of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy. The journal comprises a range of different articles types from orignial articles to systematic reviews and letters around the topic of pain and rehabilitation. The journal is multidisciplinary in its focus and welcomes submissions from all professionals working in this multidisciplinary field. the abstract of all articles will be freely avilable online. Full text articles are available free online to members of the Physiotherapy Pain Association, and access to individual PDF articles can be purchased by non members.
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