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Rehabilitation Hospital Staff Knowledge and Attitudes Regarding Pain

Loder, Elizabeth MD, FACP; Witkower, Alan EdD; McAlary, Patricia RN, EdD; Huhta, Marie BSN, CRRN; Matarrazzo, John ACSW, LICSW

American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation: January 2003 - Volume 82 - Issue 1 - p 65-68
Research Survey: Pain

Loder E, Witkower A, McAlary P, Huhta M, Matarrazzo J: Rehabilitation hospital staff knowledge and attitudes regarding pain. Am J Phys Med Rehabil 2003;82:65–68.

No published studies exist that document pain-related knowledge, attitudes, or educational needs of clinical staff in a rehabilitation hospital; the purpose of this study was to obtain such information to aid in the development of an institutional pain care improvement project. A survey regarding knowledge and attitudes about pain and perceived areas of educational need was administered to all staff with inpatient care responsibilities. Results show that rehabilitation hospital staff hold generally progressive attitudes toward the treatment of pain but with a substantial degree of ambivalence about the use of opioids in the treatment of pain. Staff rate their own lack of education about pain management as one of the chief barriers to effective pain management, and a large percentage report feeling uncomfortable with various technical aspects of pain care. We discuss the implications of this survey for understanding and improving pain care in rehabilitation settings.

From the Pain and Headache Management Programs (EL, AW, PM, MH) and the Oncology/Hematology Program (JM), Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts; and the Departments of Medicine (EL) and Psychology (AW), Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.

All correspondence should be addressed to Elizabeth Loder, MD, FACP, 125 Nashua Street, Boston, MA 02114.

© 2003 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.