Mary C McNamara, Dominic Harmon, Jean Saunders
British Journal of Nursing, Vol. 21, Iss. 16, 13 Sep 2012, pp 958 - 964
Aims: The purpose of this study was to assess the effectiveness of an acute pain educational programme in improving nurses' knowledge, skills and attitudes around postoperative pain management. Background: Poor postoperative pain management is consistently reported as a problem for patients (Chung and Lui, 2003; Klopper et al, 2006; Bell and Duffy, 2009). This is often attributed to health professionals' lack of knowledge and access to training programmes, which have been cited as barriers to effective pain management (Wilkes et al, 2003; Dihle et al 2006). The Acute Pain Service (APS) team at HSE Mid-Western Regional Hospital, Limerick, and the Centre for Nurse and Midwifery Education developed a training programme for nurses in pain management based on the International Association for the Study of Pain (2005) curriculum for nurses. Methods: A convenience sample of 59 nurses attending an educational programme on acute pain management was studied. Validated questionnaires were completed before, immediately after and 6 weeks after the educational programme to assess knowledge and attitudes towards acute pain management. Nurses were also asked to rate their views on 18 statements on acute pain management. Results: The acute pain educational programme intervention improved nurses' knowledge and attitudes towards pain assessment and management (p<0.01). It was most effective immediately after the pain education programme. Conclusion: Continuing evidenced-based educational programmes in pain management can improve nurses' knowledge of pain. The results of this study could guide the development and implementation of continuing educational programmes for nursing staff in providing patients with evidence-based pain management.
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