A proposed model of the effective management of children's pain

Simons, Joan (2015). A proposed model of the effective management of children's pain. Pain Management Nursing, 16(4) pp. 570–578.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pmn.2014.10.008


The aim of this study was to understand the various factors that contribute to the delivery of effective pain management. The current picture of pain management is complex and contradictory, with children in the hospital still experiencing unnecessary pain, nurses reporting better pain care than is evidenced, and parents who are reluctant to report their child’s pain. There is a real need to focus on areas of excellence where pain management innovations have been successfully implemented. Five hospitals were visited in three countries: the United Kingdom, Sweden, and Australia, spending a week in each country. In all, 28 health care professionals were interviewed exploring innovations in pain management; the effect of improvements on children, parents, and nurses; and what helped and hindered the delivery of effective pain management. Better pain management provides nurses with confidence, which in turn gives children and parents confidence in their care and reduces anxiety for nurses. Resources, on the other hand, were a common issue in relation to obstacles to innovation. A recurring theme in all areas visited was the issue of culture and how it affected both negatively and positively on the management of children’s pain. Strong leadership was integral to moving practice forward and to introducing the innovations that led to effective pain management. The key findings identified that underpin the effective management of children’s pain are effective leadership, resources, and confidence; the consequences are less stress for children and nurses, more trusting relationships, and greater job satisfaction. A model of effective pain management is proposed.

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