Background: Persistent postsurgical pain (PPSP) is a common complication that impacts quality of life, often necessitating long-term opioid treatment. Certain neurocognitive factors, including reduced performance on cognitive flexibility tasks, are associated with increased risk of PPSP. We examine the perceptions of surgical patients and clinicians with regard to perioperative pain management activities and needs; patient acceptance and use of a perioperative neurocognitive training intervention; and implementation feasibility. Methods: We conducted both individual and focus group interviews with patients undergoing thoracic surgery and clinicians in an academic medical center. The Consolidated Framework for Intervention Research guided the development of interview questions related to the adoption and implementation of a neurocognitive intervention to mitigate PPSP. A thematic analysis was used to analyze the responses. Results: Forty patients and 15 clinicians participated. Interviews revealed that there is minimal discussion between clinicians and patients about PPSP. Most participants were receptive to a neurocognitive intervention to prevent PPSP, if evidence demonstrating its effectiveness were available. Potential barriers to neurocognitive training program adoption included fatigue, cognitive overload, lack of familiarity with the technology used for delivering the intervention, and immediate postoperative pain and stress. Implementation facilitators would include patient education about the intervention, incentives for its use, and daily reminders. Conclusion: The study identified several guiding principles for addressing patients' and clinicians' barriers to effectively implementing a neurocognitive training intervention to mitigate PPSP after surgery. To ensure the sustainability of neurocognitive interventions for preventing PPSP, such interventions would need to be adapted to meet patients' and clinicians' needs within the perioperative context.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1355-1365
Number of pages11
JournalPain Medicine (United States)
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2022


  • Anesthesia
  • Cognitive Training
  • Implementation
  • Pain
  • Qualitative Methods
  • Thoracic Surgery


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