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Pain Management Champions in Nursing Homes Help With Guideline Implementation

March 29, 2021

The use of pain management champions led the way toward smoother adoption of evidence-based pain management guidelines by care workers in nursing homes, according to a study published online ahead of print in the journal Worldviews on Evidence-Based Nursing. 

“Our findings highlighted that the training and use of pain champions increased self‐efficacy and thereby induced behavior change, leading to guideline adoption,” wrote researchers from the University of Basel in Switzerland. 

The study included four nursing homes in Switzerland, where training workshops took place and trained pain champions were introduced. Some 136 care workers filled out surveys that assessed self-efficacy in pain management and guideline adoption at baseline, 99 care workers did so after 3 months, and 83 completed surveys after 6 months. Eight care workers also participated in focus groups to gauge their response to the strategy.

At 3 and at 6 months, care worker self-efficacy significantly increased compared with at baseline, according to the study. Self-efficacy was significantly associated with two guideline components: performing a comprehensive pain assessment and, in residents with cognitive impairment, using observational pain assessment tools. 

Moreover, care workers had a positive reaction to the pain management champion strategy, the study found. 

“Focus group participants reported more attentiveness to residents’ pain experience,” researchers wrote. “The participants also reported increases in assessment and documentation of pain with more detail than before.” 

Jolynn Tumolo


Brunkert T, Simon M, Zúñiga F. Use of Pain Management Champions to Enhance Guideline Implementation by Care Workers in Nursing Homes [published online ahead of print, 2021 Mar 18]. Worldviews Evid Based Nurs. 2021;10.1111/wvn.12499. doi:10.1111/wvn.12499

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