Impact of a Qstream Online Learning Module on Palliative Care Nurses’ Pain Assessment Competencies and Patients’ Reports of Pain: Results from a Quasi-Experimental Pilot Study (#80)
Pain is a complex multidimensional phenomenon moderated by consumer, provider and health system factors. Effective pain management in specialist palliative care cuts across professional boundaries, with failure to screen and assess contributing to the burden of unrelieved pain.
To test the impact of a Qstream pain assessment learning module on specialist palliative care nurses’ pain assessment competencies, and to determine if this education impacted positively on palliative care patients’ reported pain ratings.
This quasi-experimental pilot continuing professional development intervention study was conducted at two Australian specialist palliative care services in 2012. The intervention consisted of 11 case based pain assessment scenarios developed by a multidisciplinary expert panel delivered to participants via Qstream over 28 days. ‘Pain Assessment Competencies’ survey and chart audit data, including patient reported pain intensity ratings, were collected pre and post intervention and analysed using inferential statistics to determine key outcomes.
The results reported conform to the STROBE Guidelines. Qstream participants increased their knowledge of comprehensive pain assessment elements, assessment tools and confidence to undertake a pain assessment (p<0.001). Participants were more likely to document pain intensity scores in patient’s medical records than non-participants (95% C.I.=7.3% - 22.7% , p=0.021). There was also a significant reduction in the mean patient reported pain ratings between the admission and audit date at post-test (X ̅=2.4) compared to pre-test (X ̅=3.9) (t=1.51,df= 82, p<.0010).
This pilot confirms the Qstream delivery method as an online learning format with the capacity to improve specialist palliative care nurses’ pain assessment practices and reduce patient rated pain intensity scores.