Relieving Pain in Older Adults: A Community-based Geriatric Pain Management Project

  • CHENG, Sheung-Tak 鄭相德 (PI)
  • CHEN, Phoon Ping (CoI)
  • CHOW, Yu-fat (CoI)
  • CHUNG, Wai Yee, Joanne (CoI)
  • LAW, Chun Bon (CoI)
  • LEE, Jenny (CoI)
  • LEUNG, Man Fuk (CoI)
  • TAM, Cindy (CoI)

    Project: Research project

    Project Details

    Description

    Due to the non-life-threatening nature of pain, pain management in Hong Kong has never been a public health priority and it is hardly seen on the agenda of healthcare planning. With rapidly aging populations, the global number of people suffering from pain is expected to increase sharply in the decades to come. The urgency to increase professional, government and public awareness of pain in older persons, and to develop better pain management strategies for them is more than apparent.

    Currently, evidence-based pain management services in Hong Kong that address the special needs of the older population are barely existent. Although it has been widely recognized that multidisciplinary pain management which incorporates analgesic medication with non-pharmacological approaches such as psychosocial interventions (e.g., cognitive behavioral therapy, CBT), physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and alternative medicine, is more effective in pain reduction, pharmacological approach remains to be the mainstay treatment for pain relief among local older patients. In addition to long queuing and waiting time for clinical services, many pain-suffering older adults attending public medical services have difficulties in gaining access to allied medical services such as physiotherapy and clinical psychological services. Given this apparent service gap in the public sector, many older people in Hong Kong do not receive appropriate pain management, resulting in unnecessary suffering.

    The mission of the proposed research project is to improve pain management in older persons in Hong Kong. In view of the cultural context of familism, a distinctive feature of this initiative is to include family caregivers in the management of pain in older persons. It is envisaged that improvement of pain management in older persons can only be achieved by the cooperation of patients, their caregivers, and healthcare professionals, public health organizations, and policymakers. Building on this vision, the aim of the project is to develop a community-based multidisciplinary pain management program for older people in Hong Kong. The goals of the research project include:
    i. To raise awareness of the under-management of pain problems in older people in Hong Kong.
    ii. To alleviate pain in older adults through developing a community-based multidisciplinary pain management program for older people in Hong Kong.
    iii. Improvement of knowledge, attitudes, and skills in geriatric pain assessment and management in family caregivers and healthcare professionals.
    StatusFinished
    Effective start/end date31/03/1401/06/18