Date of Conferral
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
There is an identified problem with patients receiving suboptimal pain management at a hospice agency in the northwestern United States. At this agency, undertreatment of pain is prevalent. Evidence indicates that this may be a result of a lack of guidelines, education, and knowledge of appropriate prescribing. Known barriers to the correct prescription and administration of potent opioids in the hospice setting include prevailing beliefs, knowledge, skills, and attitudes, all of which can impact care negatively. Contextually, hospice principles mandate patient comfort and caregiver involvement in continuous quality improvement, which includes adequate and informed pain management. Moreover, hospice metrics demand requisite knowledge, skills, and attitudes for optimal care, including pain management at the end of life. The Academic Center for Evidence-Based Practice (ACE) star model was used to guide the development of an evidence-based, guideline-supported educational program that will improve pain management at the hospice agency when implemented. The purpose of this project was to use transdisciplinary expertise and team collaboration to develop the program and then to conduct a formative and summative evaluation utilizing experts to prepare the guidelines and process for implementation. Ten experts reviewed the guideline, the educational materials, the process, and the evaluation plan and conducted reviews using the AGREE II tool. The panel of experts agreed within the 6 AGREE domains. Future implementation of this guideline, translation process, and evaluation tool will impact social change through the empowerment of the clinical staff, patients, and caregivers to provide the best pain control and comfort at end of life, a vulnerable time for all patients.