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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.


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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