Inadequate pain treatment leaves hospitalized children vulnerable to immediate and long-term sequelae. A multidimensional knowledge translation intervention (ie, the Evidence-based Practice for Improving Quality [EPIQ]) improved pain assessment, management, and intensity outcomes in 16 units at 8 Canadian pediatric hospitals. The sustained effectiveness of EPIQ over time is unknown, however. The goals of this study were to determine the following: (1) sustainability of the impact of EPIQ on pain assessment, management, and intensity outcomes 12, 24, and 36 months after EPIQ; (2) effectiveness of a pain practice change booster (Booster) intervention to sustain EPIQ outcomes over time; and (3) influence of context on sustainability.
A prospective, repeated measures, cluster randomized controlled trial was undertaken in the 16 EPIQ units, 12 months after EPIQ completion, to determine the effectiveness of a practice change booster (Booster) to sustain EPIQ outcomes. Generalized estimating equation models examined outcomes controlling for child and unit contextual factors.
Outcomes achieved during EPIQ were sustained in the use of any pain assessment measure (P = .01) and a validated pain assessment measure in the EPIQ units (P = .02) up to 36 months after EPIQ. Statistically significant improvements in pain management practices persisted in EPIQ units; results varied across time. There were no significant differences in outcomes after implementation of the Booster between the Booster and Nonbooster groups.
Improved pain assessment and management practices were sustained after EPIQ; however, the Booster did not seem to provide additional impact.