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Evaluation shows Airing Pain benefits people in pain

Airing Pain business card

Airing Pain is ‘an excellent resource that gives good information and support’ and ‘makes you feel part of the pain community’, according to feedback from listeners. These comments were recorded in a recent evaluation of Pain Concern’s radio show to assess how far Airing Pain has been successful at reaching out to and helping people with pain.

Airing Pain first aired in September 2010 with the aim of taking support into the homes of people living with pain and over forty 30-minute episodes have now been broadcast. The broadcasts bring together people with pain and top specialists to talk about the resources that can help. All programmes are available for download from and iTunes. New programmes are broadcast via Able Radio.

The evaluation found that on average just under 350 people have listened to each of the first thirty-six programmes and that each edition is downloaded on average 35 times a month. The most popular programmes include ‘Power over Mind and Body’, which looked at the importance of combining psychological and physiological approaches to pain, as well as programmes on ‘Effective Communication’ and ‘Growing Older with Pain’. Older programmes are still attracting a steady stream of listeners, suggesting that their content continues to be useful long after the time of broadcast.

The team also invited listeners to participate in a survey designed to capture information on the age and location of listeners as well as their responses to the show both positive and negative. One hundred and twenty people responded allowing us to discover, for example, that the majority of listeners (87 per cent) live in England or Scotland and that 83 per cent are aged forty or older.

Listeners were asked what they liked about Airing Pain with many appreciating that the programmes, in the words of one respondent, ‘highlight the issues that concern people with chronic pain’. Airing Pain was also praised for its high production standards, for being ‘interesting and lively’, for featuring the voices of a broad range of healthcare experts and people living with pain and for giving tips on self-management. Many listeners found that the programmes helped them to feel part of a broader ‘pain community’; a particularly important result as pain can often lead to people feeling isolated and misunderstood.

The evaluation has also provided the Airing Pain team with information about areas where there is room for improvement. The old website came in for some criticism from respondents to the survey and with this in mind the developers of the new website worked to provide easier access to the programmes. Perhaps the most important suggestion came from the researchers, who urged Pain Concern to improve awareness of the show to ensure that more listeners can benefit from this resource in the future. The listening figures from the latest programmes released after the study’s completion suggest that progress has been made as programmes 37 to 42 have already had between 1800 and 3500 listeners each.

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Just wanted to pass on my thanks for Airing Pain. The podcast is a superb piece of work and a great achievement. It’s a pleasure to listen to. As someone who is unable to attend a support group for my illness as it is too far, I look forward to every episode and find it extremely calming and useful to listen to when I am having a bad day.

Well done, keep up the great work.

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