Healthcare aide-focused interventions to improve pain management in long-term care homes: A systematic review

Jennifer A. Knopp-Sihota, Tara MacGregor, Megan Nuspl, Jennifer Reeves, Megan Kennedy

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


    Objectives: Pain is common in long-term care residents. We examined the effectiveness of interventions involving healthcare aides that aim to manage pain for these residents. Design: A systematic review which follows PRISMA reporting guidelines. Setting and participants: We examined controlled trials and intervention studies that included long-term care residents aged ≥60 years who received interventions to reduce chronic pain. Interventions were either delivered by healthcare aides at the resident level or were directed at healthcare aides to improve their pain management practices for residents. Methods: We searched 7 databases to identify relevant studies. After screening 400 articles, we reviewed 131 full-text articles and included them if they reported a pain management intervention and measured pain with a standardized pain scale. Data were synthesized narratively. Risk of bias was assessed using the Mixed Methods Assessment Tool. Results: In total, 9 studies were examined in the narrative review. Six studies described pain interventions involving education, new pain protocols and/or new assessment tools delivered to healthcare aides. Three studies described pain interventions delivered by healthcare aides to residents, which included a new incontinence care routine, light touch massage, and a bathing intervention. Conclusions and implications: Interventions involving healthcare aides may be beneficial to pain management for long-term care residents as they have the potential to reduce residents’ pain and improve both pain assessment and reporting practices. Further research is warranted on specific elements that contribute to an improvement in residents’ pain and to the overall role of healthcare aides care of residents.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number104808
    JournalArchives of Gerontology and Geriatrics
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan. 2023


    • Elder care
    • Healthcare aide
    • Nursing home
    • Pain
    • Systematic review


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