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Pain Manag Nurs. 2014 Jun;15(2):474-81. doi: 10.1016/j.pmn.2012.12.006. Epub 2013 Feb 16.

Improving knowledge, assessment, and attitudes related to pain management: evaluation of an intervention.

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Central Baptist Hospital, Lexington, Kentucky; University of Louisville School of Nursing, Louisville, Kentucky. Electronic address:
Central Baptist Hospital, Lexington, Kentucky.


Pain control in the acute care setting is repeatedly described in the literature as problematic. The purpose of this clinical research project was to evaluate an educational intervention designed to improve the management of pain in an acute care setting. A quasi-experimental pre- and post-intervention design was used. Three hundred and forty-one medical-surgical and critical care nurses completed the Brockopp-Warden Pain Knowledge/Bias Questionnaire (2004) (203 pre, 138 post). Data were collected before the intervention and 3 months following the educational experience. Sixty patients (30 pre, 30 post) recorded numerical assessments of their pain every 2 hours in a pain diary. Patient charts were reviewed to compare patients' pain assessments with nurses' documentation. A 50% decrease in the mean difference between patients' assessment of pain and nurses' documentation (p < .04) was found post-intervention. Although no significant differences were found on total knowledge or bias scores, 20% of nurses who participated responded incorrectly to six of 21 knowledge items both pre- and post-intervention. In keeping with earlier research on bias regarding pain management, patients with non-physiological conditions were not attended to as well as patients who had clearly defined physical problems. Results of this project have precipitated major changes regarding the management of pain in this institution. A pain steering committee has been formed and additional unit-based projects have been conducted. The challenge of finding the most effective method for changing biases toward specific patient populations and increasing knowledge regarding pain management remains.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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