People with profound or severe intellectual disability can experience multiple health problems related to pain. The identification and treatment of pain often goes unrecognised and untreated. Because of complex communication needs, people with profound or severe intellectual disability are unable to self-report pain. Instead, behavioural signs are relied upon to determine if someone is experiencing pain.

Behavioural checklists have been frequently trialled in settings related to dementia, paediatrics and palliative care in order to improve identification and management of pain. Few studies have trialled these checklists with people who have profound or severe intellectual disability.

This research aims to implement a pain awareness intervention specifically designed to improve pain knowledge and attitudes amongst support workers, carers and family members. The intervention includes trialling two behavioural checklists and determining whether they can be used with people with profound or severe ID. It is anticipated the findings will assist us to better identify and treat pain in people with profound or severe intellectual disability.

For more information, or if you are interested in participating in the study, please email research@scopeaust.org.au