Original Research

Knowledge, attitudes and practice of clinicians managing chronic pain in a tertiary care facility

Solomon Rop, Joseph M. Matheri, Nassib Tawa
South African Journal of Physiotherapy | Vol 78, No 1 | a1597 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajp.v78i1.1597 | © 2022 Solomon Rop, Joseph M. Matheri, Nassib Tawa | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 29 June 2021 | Published: 31 January 2022

About the author(s)

Solomon Rop, Department of Rehabilitation Science, College of Health Sciences, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Nairobi, Kenya
Joseph M. Matheri, Department of Rehabilitation Science, College of Health Sciences, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Nairobi, Kenya
Nassib Tawa, Department of Rehabilitation Science, College of Health Sciences, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Nairobi, Kenya; Division of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa

Abstract

Background: Chronic pain is a common clinical symptom and has a high socio-economic and health burden on patients, clinicians and the healthcare sector. Globally, clinicians continue to exhibit limited knowledge, negative attitudes and misconceptions about chronic pain, raising public health concerns.

Objective: Our study aimed to determine the level of knowledge, attitudes and practices of clinicians towards assessment and management of patients with chronic pain in a tertiary hospital.

Methods: This cross-sectional study at a tertiary care hospital in Kenya adopted a census method to recruit participants (n = 240). A questionnaire containing 77 items derived from the Revised Pain Knowledge and Attitudes Questionnaire (RPKAQ) and the Knowledge and Attitudes Survey regarding Pain (KASRP) was used to collect data. The questionnaire had three parts. Part A had six items to determine information on demographic characteristics. Part B and C had 54 and 23 items, respectively, that determined information on knowledge, attitudes and practice of clinicians managing chronic pain. Data were analysed using SPSS Version 24.

Results: Response rate was 83.3% (n = 153). Only 9% (n = 14) of the respondents were believed to have adequate knowledge and positive attitudes; 62% (n = 95) used best practice for cognitive/behavioural management of chronic pain. Few (9% n = 14) used best practice in the assessment and measurement of chronic pain.

Conclusion: There is inadequate knowledge, attitudes and practices amongst clinicians regarding assessment and management of chronic pain. Future research is needed in a wider population to compare these results.

Clinical implication: It may motivate clinicians to improve their level of knowledge, attitudes and practices for pain management, hence improving poor chronic pain outcome.


Keywords

chronic pain; knowledge; attitudes and practices; pain; pain management; assessment; clinician

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