Effect of attitudes, subjective norms and perceived control on nurses’ intention to assess patients’ pain


Mrs R Nash School of Nursing Queensland University of Technology, Victoria Park Road Locked Bag No 2 Red Hill Queensland 4059 Australia.


This study examines the underlying determinants of nurses’ behaviour regarding the conduct of pain assessments One hundred nurses in a variety of health care facilities were invited to complete an Attitude Intention Questionnaire based upon the theory of planned action which is an extension of the theory of reasoned action Results provide some support for the theory of planned action, as nurses’ intention to conduct pain assessment was shown to be predicted by attitude, subjective norms and perceived control, although the latter was the only variable to make an independent contribution to intention Additional support for the importance of perceived control was provided by the analysis of ‘intenders’ and ‘non-intenders’(to conduct pain assessments), as perceived control was the only variable which differed significantly between the groups The findings are consistent with earlier studies which showed that the variables in the theory of planned behaviour provided reasonably accurate predictions of behavioural intention