An exploration of the use of visually appealing contexts in a pain management program

Mimi Mun Yee Tse*, Shamay S.M. Ng, Xue Bai, Paul Hong Lee, Raymond Lo, Suey Shuk Yu Yeung, Yajie Li, Shuk Kwan Tang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Purpose: Pleasant pictures can help to reduce stress, promote positive feelings, and even facilitate recovery from diseases. Visual stimulation is an approach of distraction that can effectively reduce pain thresholds and increase pain tolerances. The number of older adults who suffer from pain has increased due to age-related diseases. Technology is increasingly being applied to the management of acute pain. The pain situation among older people was explored in this study, and a visually appealing pain management program was designed with the participants’ experiences in mind. Methods: This was a descriptive observational study. Participants were recruited from local nursing homes. Results: A total of 165 older adults joined the study. The mean age of the participants was 85.6. More female than male participants experienced pain and the intensity of their pain was significantly greater. The results showed no significant differences in pain interferences between males and females. The participants stated that photographs of family members, homes, and natural scenery made them feel relaxed and happy, and reminded them of past happy times. They preferred to view those visually appealing pictures using digital devices (iPad/iPhone) to seeing hard copy versions. Conclusion: A digital-based pain management program using visually appealing contexts for older adults can be implemented. The patients’ experiences were collected and will be considered when developing a future program.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)821-827
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Geriatric Medicine
Issue number5
Early online date20 Jun 2020
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020


This research was funded by the Health and Medical Research Fund of the Food and Health Bureau, Hong Kong SAR Government (Ref. 15161051).

FundersFunder number
Health and Medical Research Fund15161051


    • Chronic pain
    • Digital-based
    • Distraction
    • Older adults
    • Visual


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