Background and Significance: Pain Management as an Essential Element of Healthcare Services
Painful experiences are part and parcel of numerous clinical conditions (Pergolizzi et al., 2015). Therefore, it is crucial for a healthcare practitioner to be able to address the pain-related experiences of the patients and reduce the pain as efficiently as possible. Pain treatment options are especially important for suffering patients that are forced to deal with pain as part and parcel of their condition (Medical Education, Inc., 2016).
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Unrelieved pain is likely to lead to a significant drop in inpatient mobility rates, as well as possibly contribute to suppressing the immune system of the patient due to the effects of the negative experience on the pituitary-adrenal axis (Generaal et al., 2014). Indeed, studies show that pain experienced by patients on a regular basis may lead to the development of psychological issues (Mawdsley, Twiddy, & Longworth, 2015).
Particularly, if viewing the painful experiences as a stress factor, one must admit that the target population is likely to develop PTSD and depression as a result of the suffering with which they are forced to deal (Toblin, Quartana, Riviere, Walper, & Hoge, 2015). The rapid increase in cortisol levels in the patient’s body as a response to the pain that they suffer can be viewed as the primary factor contributing to the development of depression and anxiety disorders (Bala, 2013).
Therefore, the significance of the pain management problem is very high, and the issue needs to be addressed successfully. Unless the subject matter is addressed accordingly, the threat of patients developing a comorbid psychological issue and, therefore, experiencing significant difficulties recovering from the disease becomes very high. With the introduction of new approaches to pain management in suffering patients, a healthcare practitioner is likely to create the foundation for the successful management of the issue (Eckard et al., 2016).
Furthermore, the emphasis on providing the patient with an opportunity to control the process of pain management should be viewed as an innovative element that will allow improving the overall experience of the target population. By offering the patient a chance to participate in pain management, a healthcare practitioner is likely to build the foundation for addressing the major stress factors, such as the patient feeling helpless, and reduce their effects to a considerable degree (Rattani, 2015). Proving the target population that they are at least partially in control of their pain, one will create premises for successful cooperation between a patient and the healthcare practitioner (Bener et al., 2013).
As a result, a significant improvement in patient outcomes is expected due to the positive changes in the communication process and, therefore, more accurate compliance with the recommendations provided by the healthcare practitioner, as well as a better understanding of the patient’s needs (Woehrle & Russell, 2015).
Research Question: Exploring the Nature of Pain Management and Determining the Strategy
Seeing that the current study aims at not only exploring the effects of peer mentorship and self-management as the tools for addressing pain in patients but also measuring the effects of the said approaches, the study design should be quantitative. The study will seek to explore the effects that the use of the said approaches has on the management of pain in the target population. Therefore, the research question can be formulated in the following way: To what degree does the introduction of peer mentorship and self-management programs into the treatment process allow alleviating the pain experienced by the patients?
Hypotheses: Self-Management Strategies and Peer Mentorship for Pain Management
Hypothesis A: The use of self-management strategies and the adoption of the peer mentorship approach allow improving pain management in patients by providing them with more control over the process and encouraging them to acquire the relevant skills required to manage pain successfully.
Null hypothesis: The application of self-management strategies and peer mentorship programs does not have any tangible effect on the success in pain management among patients.
Variables: Operational Definition
In the course of the research, several factors affecting the success of pain management in patients suffering from regular pain will be considered. The efficacy of pain management among the target population should be viewed as the primary dependent variable, i.e., the subject of the study. As far as the independent variables are concerned, peer mentorship programs and self-management strategies should be regarded as such.
It should be borne in mind, though, that the study outcomes may be affected by certain extraneous variables. For instance, the effects of the environment in which the patients will be outside of the research, i.e., their relationships with their family members and the possible stress factors associated with the identified area, will not be under the researchers’ control. Therefore, it should be noted that the study outcomes may be affected by the said variables slightly; therefore, influencing the research outcomes.
Among categorical variables, the suggested strategies and programs for pain management should be listed. Quantitative variables, in their turn, are represented by the number of stress factors, the frequency of exposure to the said factors, etc.
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Bener, A., Verjee, M., Dafeeah, E. E., Falah. O., Al-Juhaishi. T., Schlogl. J., …Khan. S. (2013). Psychological factors: anxiety, depression, and somatization symptoms in low back pain patients. Journal of Pain Research, 6(1), 95-101.
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