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Pain Manag Nurs. 2014 Sep;15(3):565-73. doi: 10.1016/j.pmn.2012.12.007. Epub 2013 Mar 5.

Exploring how bedside nurses care for patients with chronic pain: a grounded theory study.

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  • 1Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio. Electronic address:
  • 2Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio.


In the United States it is estimated that over 30% of the population suffers from some form of chronic pain (Institute of Medicine of the National Academies Report, 2011). Therefore, it is likely that 30% of patients who are admitted to the hospital for acute care needs also have an underlying chronic pain issue. When patients are admitted for concerns that are not related to their chronic pain, the chronic pain may be overlooked in deference to acute medical issues. Nurses dealing with pain in the acute care setting may limit their assessment and management of pain to acute pain. Although there is a significant body of research related to the management of acute pain (Bell & Duffy, 2009; Brennen, Obs, Carr, & Cousins, 2007; Dihle, Bjolseth, & Helseth, 2006; McDonnell, Nicholl, & Read, 2003; Wang & Tsai, 2010) and the management of chronic pain (Bruckenthal, 2010; Clarke & Iphofen, 2005; Kaasalainen et al., 2011; Matthews & Malcom, 2007; Papaleontiou et al., 2010, Reid et al., 2008), few studies were found that explained how nurses care for patients with pre-existing chronic pain in the acute care setting. The purpose of this study was to develop a theoretical understanding of nurses' assessment and decision-making behaviors related to the care of patients with chronic pain in the acute care setting.

Copyright © 2014 American Society for Pain Management Nursing. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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