Aim: The overall aim of the EOPIC study was to achieve a deep understanding of the consequences of ageing with chronic pain and, through this, develop innovative ways in which older people can possess the knowledge, skills and confidence to live independently at home in the presence of self-managed pain.
A five phase design was used. The aims of each of the five phases are listed below:
Phase I: (a) To explore the ways in which men’s and women’s experiences of living with chronic pain in later life link to their earlier biographies and to ageing. (b) To investigate the personal impact of chronic pain, including interpersonal aspects of the everyday lives of older adults, and pain-related barriers to participation, as played out in their particular social context.
Phase II: (a) To explore current attitudes and approaches to pain management from the perspectives of general practitioners, primary care teams, pain clinics and to determine current practice and referral patterns, along with the viewpoints of older adults themselves, to assess if previously reported findings still exist. (b) To determine the acceptability and cost-effectiveness of current pain management strategies.
Phase III: This phase involved analysis of existing epidemiological data collected from older adults to identify the potential gain in economic outcomes and health benefit from providing older adults with enhanced strategies for the self-management of pain.
Phase IV: To develop and evaluate appropriate materials (in terms of content, and format) to promote and facilitate the self-management of pain based on evidence for best practice and the expressed needs of older adults.
Phase V: To work in partnership with a small group of older adults to explore acceptable and feasible ways to communicate information and support about the self-management of pain.