Adherence to Guidelines of Pain Assessment and Intervention in Internal Medicine Wards Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Proper management of pain reduces morbidity, assists in recovery, and increases patient satisfaction. The role of a nurse in an accurate pain evaluation is pivotal. It seems that pain evaluation guidelines are not fully adhered to by nurses. The aim of this study was to assess the performance of pain evaluation and management by nurses in patients admitted in internal medicine wards and to identify groups of patients in which pain evaluation was insufficient. In this cross-sectional study medical records of 59 randomly chosen patients were reviewed: age 64.5 ± 18.5 years, 55% women, and hopitalization length 3.9 ± 1.6 days. Data relating to pain evaluation and management were obtained for every patient–hospitalization day (total 213 patient-days) and compared with the guidelines. Pain was evaluated in 176 out of 213 encounters (66.2%): 84.3% upon admission and 72.7% daily routine evaluation in accordance with guidelines. In 23.7% of evaluations, pain level warranted alleviating treatment (visual analog scale ≥3). However, such treatment was administered in only 29.3% of these cases. Reevaluation after treatment and additional evaluations thereafter were performed in 33.3% and 22% of encounters, respectively. The independent factors associated with the reduced performance of pain evaluation were: widower (odds ratio [OR] 0.88, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.78-0.98; p = .024), reduced level of consicousnness (OR 0.77, 95% CI 0.63-0.95; p = .013), mental disorders as a cause of hospitalization (OR 0.81, 95% CI 0.71-0.94; p = .004), and isolation (OR 0.87, 95% CI 0.76-0.99; p = .03). Pain assessment and management in internal medicine wards is insufficient, especially in the above subgroups. Specific education programs targeted to the latter subgroups and to the unique pain assessment tools are warranted.

publication date

  • December 1, 2013