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Luann Reif, Nursing


The Implementation of Non-Pharmacological Pain Management Interventions to Decrease Pharmacological Need in a Long-Term Care Facility: a Quality Improvement Study

Effective pain management is a universal issue throughout the healthcare field, especially in long-term care. The increasing older adult population, coupled with chronic under-staffing, produces an environment that inhibits efforts to treat chronic pain and acute pain flares that are often present in this patient population. In response to an increasing demand for improved pain treatment, research has focused on locating and testing the efficacy of many non-pharmacological pain management techniques. These techniques include healing touch, music therapy, cold/heat application, re-positioning, Range Of Motions exercises, and environmental modification. The long-term care facility in this study, Good Shepherd Community, identified controlling chronic pain with acute flares as an area that would benefit from a quality improvement project. In response to this issue, we established a pain management chart with non-pharmacological interventions corresponding to the facility’s pain rating scale (1-10) for six to eight residents on three separate units. Our goal was to decrease the rating and occurrence of pain through the utilization of non-pharmacological treatment in conjunction with medications already prescribed to the resident.