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Pain Manag Nurs. 2011 Sep;12(3):154-62. doi: 10.1016/j.pmn.2010.07.001. Epub 2010 Sep 9.

Barriers to pediatric pain management: a nursing perspective.

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Jane B. Pettit Pain and Palliative Care Center, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53201, USA.


This study describes strategies used by the Joint Clinical Practice Council of Children's Hospital of Wisconsin to identify barriers perceived as interfering with nurses' (RNs) ability to provide optimal pain management. A survey was used to ascertain how nurses described optimal pain management and how much nurses perceived potential barriers as interfering with their ability to provide that level of care. The survey, "Barriers to Optimal Pain management" (adapted from Van Hulle Vincent & Denyes, 2004), was distributed to all RNs working in all patient care settings. Two hundred seventy-two surveys were returned. The five most significant barriers identified were insufficient physician (MD) orders, insufficient MD orders before procedures, insufficient time to premedicate patients before procedures, the perception of a low priority given to pain management by medical staff, and parents' reluctance to have patients receive pain medication. Additional barriers were identified through narrative comments. Information regarding the impact of the Acute Pain Service on patient care, RNs' ability to overcome barriers, and RNs' perception of current pain management practices is included, as are several specific interventions aimed at improving or ultimately eliminating identified barriers.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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