Identifying professionals’ needs in integrating electronic pain monitoring in community palliative care services: An interview study

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Abstract

Background:

Poor pain assessment is a barrier to effective pain control. There is growing interest internationally in the development and implementation of remote monitoring technologies to enhance assessment in cancer and chronic disease contexts. Findings describe the development and testing of pain monitoring systems, but research identifying the needs of health professionals to implement routine monitoring systems within clinical practice is limited.

Aim:

To inform the development and implementation strategy of an electronic pain monitoring system, PainCheck, by understanding palliative care professionals’ needs when integrating PainCheck into routine clinical practice.

Design:

Qualitative study using face-to-face interviews. Data were analysed using framework analysis

Setting/participants:

Purposive sample of health professionals managing the palliative care of patients living in the community

Results:

A total of 15 interviews with health professionals took place. Three meta-themes emerged from the data: (1) uncertainties about integration of PainCheck and changes to current practice, (2) appraisal of current practice and (3) pain management is everybody’s responsibility

Conclusion:

Even the most sceptical of health professionals could see the potential benefits of implementing an electronic patient-reported pain monitoring system. Health professionals have reservations about how PainCheck would work in practice. For optimal use, PainCheck needs embedding within existing electronic health records. Electronic pain monitoring systems have the potential to enable professionals to support patients’ pain management more effectively but only when barriers to implementation are appropriately identified and addressed.

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