Anna Devlin, Scope
Stella Koritsas, Scope
Nick Hagiliassis, Scope
Rachael McDonald, Swinburne University
Malcolm Hogg, Melbourne Health

Identifying and managing pain effectively in people with severe or profound intellectual disability (ID) can be challenging. Often there are difficulties with assessment, and staff lack knowledge about pain and its treatment. Consequently, pain is often underreported, undertreated and undiagnosed (Temple et al., 2012). There are no standard procedures for assessment and treatment of pain in individuals with severe or profound ID and few resources exist to educate support workers and carers about how to assess and respond to pain (Findlay, Williams, Baum, & Scior, 2015). The current study describes the development and efficacy of a Pain Awareness Intervention for support staff and family members of adults with severe or profound ID and pain living in shared supported accommodation. A total of 35 support workers and carers participated in an education session and administered one of two behaviour checklists (The DisDAT and the Abbey Pain Scale) over three months. Pre and post-education questionnaires assessed differences in participant knowledge, attitudes and confidence identifying and managing pain. Changes before and after the intervention will be explored and implications for practice discussed.


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