Feasibility of a staff training and support programme to improve pain assessment and management in people with dementia living in care homes

01 Jan 2018
Petyaeva A, Kajander M, Lawrence V, Clifton L, Thomas AJ, Ballard C, Leroi I, Briggs M, Closs J, Dening T, Nunez KM, Testad I, Romeo R, Johar I, Corbett A


Objectives: The objective of this study was to establish the feasibility and initial effectiveness of training and support intervention for care staff to improve pain management in people with dementia living in care homes (PAIN-Dem).

Methods: PAIN-Dem training was delivered to care staff from three care homes in South London, followed by intervention support and resources to encourage improved pain management by staff over 4 weeks. Feasibility was assessed through fidelity to intervention materials and qualitative approaches. Focus group discussions with staff explored the use of the PAIN-Dem intervention, and interviews were held with six residents and family carers. Pain was assessed in all residents at baseline, 3 and 4 weeks, and goal attainment scaling was assessed at 4 weeks.

Results: Delivery of training was a key driver for success and feasibility of the PAIN-Dem intervention. Improvements in pain management behaviour and staff confidence were seen in homes where training was delivered in a care home setting across the care team with good manager buy-in. Family involvement in pain management was highlighted as an area for improvement. Goal attainment in residents was significantly improved across the cohort, although no significant change in pain was seen.

Conclusions: This study shows good initial feasibility of the PAIN-Dem intervention and provides valuable insight into training and support paradigms that deliver successful learning and behaviour change. There is a need for a larger trial of PAIN-Dem to establish its impact on resident pain and quantifiable staff behaviour measures.