Pain Concern’s research focuses on providing people with pain and health-care professionals with evidence and resources that will support effective self-management.
The research programme began in 2016, through funding from the Health and Social Care Alliance and the Edinburgh and Lothians Health Foundation.
The research initially aimed to identify a range of common barriers which can make the facilitation and adoption of self-management of chronic pain more difficult. It focussed on the interactions which people with pain have with primary care professionals (GPs, physiotherapists, practice nurses and occupational therapists). Through 18 group discussions with a total of 101 people (54 people with pain, 9 carers and 38 health-care professionals) the research identified several common barriers that make supported self-management more challenging. The full report and findings are here.
And for an interview with researcher, Katy Gordon, click here.
The research was presented widely, winning awards at the Annual Scientific Meetings of the British Pain Society and the North British Pain Association. It was also published in the British Journal of General Practice.
However, knowledge of the barriers was not enough – Pain Concern now wanted to break the barriers! In the second phase of the project, resources that sought to help overcome some of the main challenges were produced. Six self-management videos were produced, an Airing Pain podcast and a leaflet. All these resources are available for both people in pain and health-care professionals to aid discussions about supported self-management.
What next? The Navigator Tool
The initial project highlighted that primary care appointments can often be the source of barriers: a frustration and challenge for both people with pain and health-care professionals. The next research plan was set! Pain Concern developed a ‘navigator tool’ which sought to help facilitate better conversations during appointments. The tool was developed, with input from a wide range of people, and then piloted in real-life, day to day appointments with GPs, physiotherapists and pharmacists. The pilot showed the tool could be effective in encouraging conversations on the wide range of self-management options. The full research report can be read here and a summary can be read here.
The tool is now available for people to access here.
For more information or if you have any questions about the study, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or write to Pain Concern Research, 62-66 Newcraighall Road, Edinburgh, EH15 3HS