Understanding Pain and Pain Management in Elderly Nursing Home Patients Applying an Interprofessional Learning Activity in Health Care Students: A Norwegian Pilot Study
AuthorDamsgård, Elin; Solgård, Hege; Johannessen, Karin; Wennevold, Katrine; Kvarstein, Gunnvald; Pettersen, Gunn; Garcia, Beate Hennie
Background - Pain is common among elderly patients in nursing homes. However, pain assessment and treatment are inadequate. Interprofessional treatment is recommended, and consequently interprofessional education in pain management is necessary.
Aims - This pilot project aimed to describe how two interprofessional groups of students approached pain management in two nursing home patients.
Design - We formed two teams comprising one student from the nursing, physical therapy, pharmacy, and medical educations. Each team spent one day examining a patient with chronic pain at a nursing home and they developed pain management plans.
Methods - We collected data through video recordings during teamwork before and after examining the patients and field notes during the patient examination. We analysed the video-recordings applying the seven-step model including 1) viewing the video data, 2) describing the video data, 3) identifying critical events, 4) transcribing, 5) coding, 6) constructing storyline and 7) composing a narrative. Field notes supplied the transcripts.
Results - Both teams succeeded in making a pain management plan for their patient. The common examination of the patient was crucial for the students’ approaches to pain management and changed their pre-assumptions about the patients’ pain. By sharing knowledge and reflecting together, the students reached a common consensus on suggestions for management of the patients’ problems. Interprofessional collaboration fostered enthusiasm and a more holistic pain management approach. However, students’ lack of knowledge limited their understanding of pain.
Conclusion - Knowledge of pain management in nursing home patients and the practice of interprofessional cooperation should be included in pain curricula for health care professionals.