Injuries confer a substantial burden on ambulance services. Ensuring optimal pain management for injured patients in the out-of-hospital setting is imperative, and even more so for those living in rural/remote areas, where transportation times to hospital may be longer. There is evidence for the potential for improvement in pain relief in the out-of-hospital setting. Inadequate pain relief has lasting negative physiological and psychological implications and decreases overall quality of life. While there is little research focusing specifically on management of pain incurred through trauma in regional/rural/remote environments, there are several reasons that pain management may be suboptimal in rural/remote trauma patients, compared with patients in major cities. This research aims to describe pre-hospital pain management for trauma patients in regional/rural/remote Queensland and to compare this with pain management provided in major cities. Secondarily, we aim to identify and describe perceived barriers/facilitators of optimal pain management among paramedics in rural/remote areas, compared with those in major cities. This study will incorporate three components:
1) Data from the Queensland Ambulance Service(QAS) will be used to describe current pain management practices for those sustaining injury;
2) Queensland paramedics will be surveyed to gather information on pain management and whether/how this differs across major cities/rural/remote settings;
3) Interviews with rural and remote paramedics will be conducted about their experiences and perceptions in managing pain in trauma patients
Ultimately our goal is to identify explicit opportunities to mitigate barriers and enhance enablers to optimise pain management for those experiencing trauma in rural/ remote settings.