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Keywords:

  • Pain;
  • Education;
  • Older Adults;
  • Guidelines

Abstract

Objective.  The objectives of this study were 1) to determine the level of education around the world and to identify strong evidence upon which future educational initiatives could be established; and 2) to establish a collaboration who could lead the way in terms of recommendations and educational developments for the care of older adults around the world.

Design.  A two-phase approach was used to achieve the above objectives. Phase I involved a survey conducted through the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) Special Interest Group (SIG) to determine the variations and availability of pain education for older adults from around the world. Phase II involved the setting up of an expert panel to review the guidelines on pain management currently available and therefore make some recommendations around the curriculum content.

Setting.  The small-scale study was conducted within 15 countries through the IASP discussion forum.

Subjects.  A range of health-care professionals from medicine, nursing, psychology, and allied health professionals were involved in this study.

Results.  Fifteen countries responded to the survey, providing evidence of huge variation in courses available around the world. Fourteen documents were reviewed by the expert panel, which provided evidence for education, assessment, and management of pain.

Conclusion.  Several recommendations can be made from this work: 1) establish an expert working group who can provide the experience and skills necessary to develop a multidisciplinary curriculum on pain in older adults—this has been achieved through this current work; 2) conduct a thorough systematic review of the literature around pain assessment and management, which could inform a curriculum; and 3) seek representation for membership of the expert group on the IASP core curriculum working group.