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Nurses' assessment of pain in hospitalised patients

journal contribution
posted on 1991-09-01, 00:00 authored by S McKinley, Mari BottiMari Botti
This study compared the incidence of pain reported by hospitalised patients with that recorded by nurses, correlated patients' and nurses' ratings of pain intensity and explored the relative importance nurses placed on various criteria in pain assessment. Patients (n = 115) in a university teaching hospital rated pain intensity on a visual analogue scale (VAS) and indicated its source and duration. Nurses (n = 115) caring for them rated their pain intensity on a VAS and ranked the importance of 12 factors in their assessments. Seventy-two patients (63%) reported pain and 97 nurses (84%) indicated that their patients had pain (X2 = 13.94, p less than 0.001). Patients' and nurses' VAS ratings were poorly correlated (rs = 0.35, p less than 0.001). The highest ranked factors in nurses' assessments were: what the patient said; the patient's report of the severity of pain; the patient's facial expression and the patient's posture. It was concluded that the prevalence of pain was high and that nurses' judgements were poor.

History

Journal

Australian journal of advanced nursing

Volume

9

Pagination

8-14

Location

Australia

ISSN

0813-0531

Language

eng

Publication classification

CN.1 Other journal article

Issue

1

Publisher

Australian Nursing & Midwifery Federation

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