Physiotherapist, QE Health, Rotorua, NZ
Areli, E, QE Health, Rotorua,
Devan, H*, Godfrey, H.^+, Perry, M. *, Hempel, D.#, Grainger, R.~ , Hale, L.*
*School of Physiotherapy, Centre for Health, Activity & Rehabilitation Research (CHARR), University of Otago, Wellington, NZ
^University of Otago, Wellington, NZ
+School of Psychology, Victoria University of Wellington, NZ
#Pain Management Service, Capital & Coast DHB, Wellington, NZ
~Department of Medicine, University of Otago, Wellington, NZ
Introduction: Persistent pain is a global problem with one in five people being diagnosed with some form of a persistent pain condition. Online resources have the potential to provide self-management training for people who would otherwise be unable to access specialist pain services. The endorsement by healthcare providers is crucial for the uptake of patients to online resources.
Aims: The objective of this study was to explore health care providers’ views and attitudes on utilizing online resources for persistent pain management.
Methods: This study was the qualitative aspect of a two-phase sequential (QUAN → QUAL) mixed method study. Participants were recruited through an online survey of New Zealand health professionals involved in the management of persistent pain. Data was collected through focus group and individual interviews. All interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim. The General Inductive Approach was used for data analysis.
Results: Twenty nine health professionals were interviewed via three focus group interviews and five individual interviews. The main themes from the data were; 1) ‘Online resources as a double edged sword’ and 2) ‘Barriers to uptake of online resources.
Conclusions: There is a general consensus among clinicians to support the use of online resources as an adjunct to face-to-face treatment. However in their current form, online resources were considered as a ‘double edged sword’ where the information provided by the online resources could be both beneficial and detrimental to support people with persistent pain. Clinicians expressed concerns about the potential for misinterpretation of information presented in the online resources. Lack of cultural tailoring, low health literacy, limited access to internet and low socioeconomic status of patients were perceived as barriers to the uptake of online resources. Ongoing learning and training for health professionals on evidence-based online resources could increase the confidence in recommending online resources for pain self-management.