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Paediatr Anaesth. 1996;6(3):215-8.

Postoperative pain in children: a survey of parents' expectations and perceptions of their children's experiences.

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Royal Danish School of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmaceutics, Copenhagen, Denmark.


Parental expectation and participation in postoperative analgesia is very important in paediatric practice. In order to improve postoperative pain management in children, the parents of 31 elective surgical children, three months to 15 years of age, were asked preoperatively about their expectations regarding their children's postoperative pain and pain relief. At 24 h after surgery, the parents were asked about their perceptions of their children's pain and pain control. The survey indicates that the parents had high expectations of good pain relief. They wanted effective analgesia administered promptly when the children had some pain. However, current practice in controlling pain after surgery is still not optimal. Nine (29%) of the children experienced severe or unbearable pain or experienced pain for the whole of the 24 h after surgery. An approach to improve pain management in children could be for the hospital staff to reorganize and to develop an 'acute pain service'. A pain service may not require new technology, but instead be based on more effective communication and skill in utilizing the traditional systems.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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