Assessment of patient pain in the postoperative context

Manias, Elizabeth, Bucknall, Tracey and Botti, Mari 2004, Assessment of patient pain in the postoperative context, Western journal of nursing research, vol. 26, no. 7, pp. 751-769.

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Title Assessment of patient pain in the postoperative context
Author(s) Manias, Elizabeth
Bucknall, Tracey
Botti, Mari
Journal name Western journal of nursing research
Volume number 26
Issue number 7
Start page 751
End page 769
Publisher Sage
Place of publication Newbury Park, Calif.
Publication date 2004-11
ISSN 0193-9459
Keyword(s) pain assessment
observation
postoperative pain
decision making
Summary Because of its subjective nature, the assessment of pain requires the use of comprehensive practices that accurately reflect a patient’s experiences of pain. The purpose of this study was to determine how nurses make decisions in their assessment of patients’ pain in the postoperative clinical setting. An observational design was chosen as the means of examining pain activities in two surgical units of a metropolitan teaching hospital in Melbourne, Australia. Six fixed observation times were selected. Each 2-hour observation period was examined 12 times thus resulting in 74 observations. In total, 316 pain activities were determined. Five themes relating to assessment were identified from the data analysis: simple questioning, use of a pain scale, complex assessment, the lack of pain assessment, and physical examination for pain. The study identified how nurses’ prioritization of work demands created barriers in conducting timely and comprehensive pain assessment decisions.


Language eng
Field of Research 111003 Clinical Nursing: Secondary (Acute Care)
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2004, Sage Publications
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30008717

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Nursing and Midwifery
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