Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


Health Services


Mary M. Martin


Inadequate management of pain is common in the elderly, and the negative implications are often profound. Untreated pain has been associated with negative consequences such as depression, anxiety, sleep disruption, weight loss, and limitations in the performance of daily activities and functions. The purpose of this educational project was to improve the assessment and management of pain of elderly patients residing in long-term care facilities (LTCFs). The project question examined the effects of staff education on the nursing staff’s knowledge of pain assessment and management. Nonlicensed personnel are at the forefront of providing direct patient care in LTCFs. Knowles’s theory of adult learning was used to guide the educational strategies for this project. A convenience sample of 24 nursing staff participated in a 30-minute interactive discussion about pain assessment and management training. A pre- and post-knowledge assessment was conducted using a 17-question, 5-point Likert scale survey on self-assessment of knowledge in assessing pain in elderly patients. Data analysis was conducted using a paired t test to compare pre- and post-intervention outcomes for participants. The t test revealed that the mean pretest (M=52.98) was significantly different from that of posttest (M=80.83), t (23) = -6.570, p < 0.001. These data suggested that the intervention significantly increased the knowledge. A need for pain management continuing education was identified. Implications for positive social change for nursing staff include an increase in knowledge in the area of pain assessment and management. This project can help improve the quality of life of elderly patients by preventing the negative consequences of untreated pain.