Translating Knowledge to Improve Pain Management Practices for Older Adults

  • Esther CokerEmail author
  • Sharon Kaasalainen
Part of the Perspectives in Nursing Management and Care for Older Adults book series (PNMCOA)


Translation of pain management evidence into practice is slow, and therefore pain in older adults continues to be under-recognized and under-treated. Several barriers to pain management in older adults have been identified, and they may be addressed through implementation science—the study of methods to promote integration of research findings into policy and practice. Successful knowledge translation relies on the use of a conceptual framework to guide the development, implementation, and sustainability of evidence-based pain management strategies. The Knowledge to Action and Promoting Action on Research Implementation in Health Services frameworks lend themselves to this purpose.

Knowledge translation involves behaviour change, especially around nurses’ decision-making. Some of the knowledge translation interventions applied to pain management are educational meetings, audit and feedback, reminders, opinion leaders and change champions, educational outreach, and appreciative inquiry. Tailoring interventions to address barriers can serve to support implementation of pain guideline recommendations. Determinants of guideline uptake are outlined in this chapter along with factors impacting the sustainability of use of guidelines. Leadership involvement; credible evidence; staff buy-in and education; experiencing small, successive “wins”; and monitoring and feedback contribute to successful implementation of pain management clinical practice guidelines.


Knowledge translation Implementation science Pain management Older adults 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hamilton Health SciencesHamiltonCanada
  2. 2.McMaster University School of NursingHamiltonCanada

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