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J Adv Nurs. 2010 Nov;66(11):2442-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2648.2010.05408.x. Epub 2010 Aug 16.

Pain management interventions with parents in the emergency department: a randomized trial.

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Faculty of Nursing, University of Montreal, CHU Sainte-Justine Research Centre, Canada.



This paper is a report of the efficacy of a parental educational intervention on children's pain intensity and experience of pain-related unpleasantness at 24 hours post-discharge from the emergency department, and on parents' beliefs about pain.


Parents' misbeliefs about pain management may inhibit them from managing their child's pain appropriately. Educating parents about pain management may increase their knowledge, dispel myths and help decrease children's pain intensity and unpleasantness related to pain following a visit to an emergency department.


A randomized design was adopted with samples of parent/child dyads. The experimental group received a bookmark, booklet on pain management and pain scale. The control group only received a pain scale. Pain intensity and unpleasantness were measured at triage and 24 hours after discharge from the emergency department. Parents' beliefs were measured with the Pain Belief Questionnaire. Data were collected from November 2005 to May 2006.


Samples of 98 (experimental) and 97 (control) children/parents were recruited. No statistically significant differences were found between both groups regarding pain intensity and unpleasantness, at triage and 24 hours post-discharge. Results for the Pain Belief Questionnaire were similar between the groups (t = 1·751, P = 0·082).


The interventions were not effective to reduce pain and unpleasantness related to pain, as well as to improve pain beliefs of parents. Other interventions, such as having parents participate actively in their child's pain management, might be more effective than a passive educational intervention.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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