We are a research team in the School of Rehabilitation Therapy at Queen's University. Our research aims to reduce pain-related disability by developing and evaluating new approaches to pain management in primary care. Below are a description of our primary research themes.
EVALUATING NEW MODELS OF PRIMARY CARE TO IMPROVE PAIN MANAGEMENT
The way our health system is organized can have a important impact on the care provided to people living with pain. We do research that aims to improve pain management by evaluating new models of primary care. An example of our research in this area is a project funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) that aims to evaluate the impact of integrating physiotherapists within primary care teams for people experiencing low back pain.
DEVELOPING AND EVALUATING COMPLEX INTERVENTIONS IN PRIMARY CARE TO BETTER SUPPORT PEOPLE LIVING WITH PAIN
Pain is complex with multiple biological, psychological, and social factors contributing to the experience. Complex health challenges often require complex interventions that include multiple components. We do research aimed at developing, understanding, implementing, and evaluating complex interventions that aim to improve function for people living with pain. These interventions include self-management supports, exercise based interventions, and interprofessional pain management programs. We evaluate most of these interventions in community and primary care settings, where we think they can have the most impact. An example of research in this area is a CIHR funded project aimed at evaluating the outcomes and experiences of the combination of self-management support with opioid deprescribing in primary care.
EDUCATION AND KNOWLEDGE TRANSLATION TO IMPROVE PAIN MANAGEMENT
Research evidence is only impactful if it makes its way into practice and we want our research to have an impact. We incorporate knowledge translation into all of our projects by involving key stakeholders at all stages of the research process and communicating our research to the people who are most likely to use it. We also do specific knowledge translation and educational research including: knowledge syntheses, implementation research on new interventions, and assessement of implementation of existing evidence into new practice settins. Finally, we think one of the biggest places we can have an impact is through improving the education provided to entry-level healthcare providers. An example of research in this area is a CIHR funded knowledge translation study aimed at improving pain education in entry-level physiotherapy programs across Canada.
TRANSFORMING PAIN MANAGEMENT IN ETHIOPIA
Global burden of disease studies suggest global increases in years lived with disability are being driven by increases in disability associated with musculoskeletal pain conditions in low and middle income countries. Reducing pain-related disability worldwide requires us to focus, not just on our own health system, but other health systems as well. Also, our research team recognizes the need for pain management interventions to be tailored to the context in which they are delivered. Importantly, our research group includes three PhD students who are also faculty members at the University of Gondar, Ethiopia. Their research will establish important foundational evidence to improve pain management, advance research, and inform health policy in Ethiopia. Their research focuses on establishing foundations for self-management research, validating pain assessment tools for use in the Ethiopian context, developing and evaluating a multidisciplinary pain management program tailored to the Ethiopian context, and understanding communication about the pain experience from the perspectives of people living with pain and their healthcare providers.
IMPROVING PAIN MANAGEMENT FOR VETERANS LIVING WITH PAIN
Canadian Armed Forces Veterans experience chronic pain at a higher rate than the rest of Canadians. They also experience transitions from Military to civilian health systems that can pose unique challenges in receiving pain management support. Our research aims to improve health services for Veterans living with pain starting with understanding the experiences and perspectives of Veterans in seeking and receiving care.