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Keywords:

  • paediatric;
  • nurse;
  • nursing;
  • attitude;
  • belief;
  • knowledge;
  • child;
  • children;
  • pain management;
  • pain

Finnish nurses' attitudes to pain in children¶This study measured the attitudes of Finnish paediatric nurses to children in pain and the connection between nurses' attitudes, nurses' attributes and nurses' own view of their knowledge and ability to take care of children in pain. The measurements were based on a purpose-designed instrument consisting of a 41-item Likert-type questionnaire and demographic data. The convenience sample consisted of paediatric nurses at all five university hospitals in Finland (n = 303). The response rate was 87%. ANOVA and non-parametric Kruskal–Wallis ANOVA were used as statistical methods. The results show that, taken as a whole, the attitudes of these nurses do not hinder effective pain management but there are some misconceptions that need further attention. It also emerged that such attributes as nurses' age, education, experience, place of work and field of expertise do not have a significant effect on nurses' attitudes. Nurses working in operating theatres felt they had a limited scope to work together with parents and in some hospitals nurses felt they had limited scope to work together with other staff groups. The units differed significantly in nurses' views about the unit's possibilities to provide treatment for pain. The findings of this study indicate that although nurses' attitudes to pain management are mainly positive, there is much variation in how they feel they can actually provide quality care to control pain. More attention should be paid to training nurses and to providing knowledge about the treatment of pain in children. Future research should look at nurses' existing knowledge base as well as their activities in the assessment and management of pain.