Luciana Blaga worked with a multi-disciplinary pain management team for her action research project.
A Master's degree in Occupational Therapy provided Luciana with an opportunity to further her interest in pain management. Supervised by Associate Professor Linda Robertson, Luciana undertook an action research project that looked at team processes to develop a new intervention for people with chronic pain.
Pain management is a complex issue, not least because of the number of health professions involved in helping people manage their own pain, and their different approaches. Luciana explored issues around how the team worked, from what team members thought to the content and timing for treatment and advice, and patient participation. A new educational initiative was developed that it was hoped could meet several needs: helping people alleviate their pain themselves, helping them sooner, and saving money compared with more expensive options. People with chronic pain were invited to come to a half day workshop to pilot the proposed programme.
The major outcome from the project was the learning for the team members: improved understanding of each other's approach, including what each thought was necessary and important, and appreciation of each other's contribution and different perspective. For her research Luciana received a 2016 Southern District Health Board Health Research Excellence Award for the Older Person's Health, Clinical Support and Community Directorate.
Image credit: Southern District Health Board, used with permission