Background and Purpose: Pain is highly prevalent among older adults receiving home care, contributing to disability, increased health care utilization, nursing home placement, and diminished quality of life. Pain is a particular problem in the home care setting, where current approaches are often inadequate, resulting in persistent high levels of pain and disability in this vulnerable population. Cognitive-behavioral approaches to pain management have demonstrated effectiveness in reducing pain intensity and associated disability but have not been systematically implemented in home health care. The purpose of this project was to adapt a community-based, cognitive-behavioral pain self-management program designed for patients with persistent back pain for implementation by physical therapists (PTs) to use with patients with activity-limiting pain in the home care setting.
Methods: In this observational study, 2 groups of PTs practicing in home care were trained in the community-based program and completed surveys and participated in discussions during the training workshops to gather input on the program components perceived to be most helpful for their patients with pain; modifications to the program and the patient education materials for use in home care; and recommendations concerning program training and support required for successful implementation. Data collected during the workshops were summarized and presented to 2 expert panels for additional input and final decisions regarding program adaptations.
Results: Seventeen PTs with an average of 16.6 years of practice as a PT received the training and provided input on the community-based program. Program modifications based upon PT and expert panel review included reduction in the number of sessions, deletion of content, modification of the exercise component of the program, revision of patient materials, and modification of therapist training.
Discussion/Conclusions: This study successfully adapted a group-based pain management program for implementation by health care providers in a home care setting. The process described here may be useful for other groups planning to implement evidence-based programs in new settings. Part 2 of this study, a companion article in this issue, describes the field-testing of this home-care adapted program.