Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

BMJ open





First Page


PubMed ID



BMJ Publishing Group


School of Nursing and Midwifery / Centre for Research in Aged Care


Ramsay Hospital Research Foundation


Saunders, R., Crookes, K., Seaman, K., Ang, S. G. M., Bulsara, C., Bulsara, M. K., ... & Etherton-Beer, C. (2022). Effectiveness of nurse-led volunteer support and technology-driven pain assessment in improving the outcomes of hospitalised older adults: protocol for a cluster randomised controlled trial. BMJ open, 12(6), e059388.


INTRODUCTION: Hospitalised older adults are prone to functional deterioration, which is more evident in frail older patients and can be further exacerbated by pain. Two interventions that have the potential to prevent progression of frailty and improve patient outcomes in hospitalised older adults but have yet to be subject to clinical trials are nurse-led volunteer support and technology-driven assessment of pain. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: This single-centre, prospective, non-blinded, cluster randomised controlled trial will compare the efficacy of nurse-led volunteer support, technology-driven pain assessment and the combination of the two interventions to usual care for hospitalised older adults. Prior to commencing recruitment, the intervention and control conditions will be randomised across four wards. Recruitment will continue for 12 months. Data will be collected on admission, at discharge and at 30 days post discharge, with additional data collected during hospitalisation comprising records of pain assessment and volunteer support activity. The primary outcome of this study will be the change in frailty between both admission and discharge, and admission and 30 days, and secondary outcomes include length of stay, adverse events, discharge destination, quality of life, depression, cognitive function, functional independence, pain scores, pain management intervention (type and frequency) and unplanned 30-day readmissions. Stakeholder evaluation and an economic analysis of the interventions will also be conducted. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Ethical approval has been granted by Human Research Ethics Committees at Ramsay Health Care WA|SA (number: 2057) and Edith Cowan University (number: 2021-02210-SAUNDERS). The findings will be disseminated through conference presentations, peer-reviewed publications and social media. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: ACTRN12620001173987.



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.