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J Clin Nurs. 2002 Nov;11(6):734-42.

Nursing documentation of postoperative pain management.

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1
Department of Medicine and Care, Division of Nursing Science, Faculty of Health Sciences, Linköping University, Linköping and Västervik Hospital, Västervik, Sweden. evaid@ltkalmar.se

Abstract

Previous studies have shown that nursing documentation is often deficient in its recording of pain assessment and treatment. In Sweden, documentation of the care process, including assessment, is a legal obligation. The aim of this study was to describe nursing documentation of postoperative pain management and nurses' perceptions of the records in relation to current regulations and guidelines. The sample included nursing records of postoperative care on the second postoperative day from 172 patients and 63 Registered Nurses from surgical wards in a central county hospital in Sweden. The records were reviewed for content and comprehensiveness based on regulations and guidelines for postoperative pain management. Three different auditing instruments were used. The nurses were asked if the documentation concurred with current regulations and guidelines. The result showed that pain assessment was based mainly on patients' self-report, but less than 10% of the records contained notes on systematic assessment with a pain assessment instrument. Pain location was documented in 50% of the records and pain character in 12%. About 73% of the nurses reported that the documentation concurred with current regulations and guidelines. The findings indicate that significant flaws existed in nurses' recording of postoperative pain management, of which the nurses were not aware.

PMID:
12427178
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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