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Managing pain in older adults: A virtual learning environment for understanding the physiology of acute pain and its impact on mobility in older adults

017-catalyst grant-2018

Project Description

Chronic pain in older adults has a significant impact on mobility and activity levels and can exacerbate other health conditions including depression, frailty and cognitive impairment. Poor management of pain may initiate a cycle of health deterioration leading to a reduction in physical resilience and fitness and, consequently, increasing musculoskeletal pain. Our health care programs, on which we depend for the training of health care professionals, have been identified as having inadequate training in the physiology of the sensory nervous system’s response to pain and the perception of pain.


"We are grateful for this funding from the Labarge Centre which will provide students in healthcare programs an invaluable opportunity to learn from an interactive resource designed from the perspectives and experiences of older adults with present or past acute pain."


This interdisciplinary group of researchers from the Faculties of Humanities, Health Sciences and Business, in cooperation with the Michael G. DeGroote Pain Clinic, will design, develop and evaluate an experiential learning resource for understanding and managing acute pain in the context of older adults. This will be created using an interactive learning environment within a 3D avatar world. Consultation will take place with end users of the module and graduating MD, OT and PT students who will be caring for older adults in their clinical practice. Because the learning resource also incorporates the management of pain, assistance from older adults will be sought in choosing outcomes related to the improvement of their care and will be very important to the knowledge mobilization plan.    

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