Pain assessment tools: children's nurses' views

Simons, J. M. and Macdonald, L. M. (2004). Pain assessment tools: children's nurses' views. Journal of Child Health Care, 8(4) 264 -278.



The persistence of inadequate treatment of pain in children could be due to lack of knowledge and nurses’ failure to assess and manage pain effectively. It is recognized that effective pain assessment leads to more satisfied children and families. This study explored children’s nurses’ views on the use of pain assessment tools in a tertiary referral centre. Almost two-thirds of nurses did not have a preference for a pain assessment tool, but nearly three-quarters of nurses surveyed agreed that the introduction of pain assessment tools would improve documentation. When nurses were asked how much time they needed for education on these tools, 83 percent wanted only two hours, although almost half stated lack of knowledge or education as the main obstacle to use of a pain assessment tool. The inconsistencies in these replies could reflect the conflicting demands between the nurses’ need to increase their knowledge of pain assessment while managing a heavy workload.

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