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Aust J Adv Nurs. 1994 Sep-Nov;12(1):17-22.

Measuring pain in neonates: evaluating an instrument and developing a common language.


This paper describes the development and evaluation of the Pain Assessment Tool (PAT), a scoring system that was developed by a group of neonatal nurses to assess neonates' pain. To test the practical application of the tool and to compare the scoring system with nurses' subjective pain assessments, a pilot study was conducted with a sample of 20 neonates during the 24 hours following their surgery. The study found that PAT effectively quantified neonates' pain and that PAT scores reflected nurses' perceptions of the pain experienced by neonates. Based on the PAT scores, 15 babies experienced discomfort that required nursing comfort measures and eight babies needed both comfort measures and analgesia to relieve pain. Recommendations for future use of the Pain Assessment Tool are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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