Developing a framework to support the delivery of effective pain management for children: an exploratory qualitative study

Simons, Joan; Carter, Bernie and Craske, Jennie (2020). Developing a framework to support the delivery of effective pain management for children: an exploratory qualitative study. Pain Research and Management, 2020, article no. 5476425.



Two million children are admitted to hospital every year in the UK and between 59 and 94% will experience pain, with 27-40% of them experiencing moderate to severe pain. Currently there are a number of well researched guidelines on children’s pain available, yet pain prevalence is high. Despite the guidelines there is a lack of an overall framework that includes the necessary components to deliver effective pain management.

This study built on previous work about key elements that support children’s pain management, by exploring their relevance and practical application with 43 health care practitioners. We carried out focus groups with Band 5 nurses (n=6), Advanced Nurse Practitioners (n=11), and semi structured interviews with Pain Nurses (n=16), and Consultants (n=10). We also presented and discussed our findings with an Advisory Group.

Findings demonstrated that the following elements were considered to be important: delivering pain management with confidence, supporting colleagues with protocols and guidance, empowering parents to be involved in pain management and adopting an individual approach to a child and family. These elements formed the basis of a framework for children’s pain management. Some practitioners indicated that pain management required education as well as more resources and that the culture of an area could influence pain management practice.

The framework brings together elements that have the potential to improve the management of children’s pain through its use as an education tool in facilitating the development of skilled confident pain practitioners, who empower parents to engage in their child’s pain care. Each interrelated element of the framework plays an important part in the overall management of children’s pain. Information sheets, posters and an animation have been developed to support the dissemination of the findings to health care practitioners, parents and educators.

Viewing alternatives

Download history


Public Attention

Altmetrics from Altmetric

Number of Citations

Citations from Dimensions

Item Actions