Aims: Pain assessment in older adults with cognitive impairment is often a challenge and paramedics are not given sufficient tools/training to assess pain. The development of this App may improve pain assessment, and in turn management, in this vulnerable population. The aim of this study was to evaluate the use of the iPhone pain assessment application as a tool for use in clinical paramedic practice to improve pain assessment of older adults with cognitive impairment. Methods: Focus groups with paramedic students and a Delphi panel of qualified paramedics were conducted. Participants looked over the app and the paper-based algorithm from which the App was developed. The potential use for the App was discussed. Focus groups were recorded and transcribed verbatim, analysed using a framework approach. Proposed recommendations were disseminated to the Delphi panel who reviewed the App and recommended changes. Results: 24 paramedic students from two UK ambulance services attended focus groups. The overall opinion of the pain assessment App and its potential were very positive. Recommended changes were grouped into three key areas: Use of technology in paramedic setting; Specific App based changes; General changes. The Delphi panel subsequently ordered the changes in terms of priority. Conclusion: Results indicate that the iPhone pain assessment App provides a useful tool in the pre-hospital setting. By providing access to a tool specifically developed to help identify/assess pain in a user-friendly format, we are likely to see improvements in pain management and subsequently improved quality of life for the adult with dementia.
9th European Pain Federation Pain (EFIP) Congress: Translating Evidence into Practice, Vienna, Austria 2-5 September 2015