Parent involvement in children's pain care: views of parents and nurses

Simons, Joan; Franck, Linda and Roberson, Elaine (2001). Parent involvement in children's pain care: views of parents and nurses. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 36(4) pp. 591–599.



Aim of the study. This study investigated the views of parents and nurses about the involvement of parents in the management of their child’s pain during the first 48 hours after surgery.
Background. Children’s pain management has been found to be problematic and in need of improvement. Nurses are the key health care professionals with responsibility for managing children’s pain. Parents can make important contributions to assessment and management of their child’s pain.
Methods. Using a phenomenological approach, nurses and parents were interviewed about their perceptions of parent involvement in pain management.
Findings. The findings indicated that parental involvement in their child’s pain management is superficial and limited in nature. Parents described a passive role in relation to their child’s pain care and conveyed feelings of frustration. Only a minority of parents expressed satisfaction with their child’s pain care. Nurses perceived that there was adequate involvement of parents and adequate pain management for children.
Conclusions. These findings may be somewhat explained by differing views and a lack of effective communication between parents and nurses. There is a clear need for nurses to discuss parent involvement with parents and negotiate roles in relation to pain management.

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