Children's postoperative pain at home: Family interview study


Päivi Kankkunen, University of Kuopio, Department of Nursing Science, PO Box 1627, 70211 Kuopio, Finland. Email:


The purpose of this study was to: (i) describe the methods that are used in the identification and management of postoperative pain in children aged 1–7 years after minor outpatient surgery at home; (ii) to identify parents' perceptions regarding children's pain and pain medication; and (iii) to examine parents' perceptions of discharge advice. Family interviews with inductive content analysis were used to gather information from families of 17 Finnish children undergoing minor outpatient surgery at a university hospital in Finland. Versatile methods were employed by the parents in the identification and management of children's postoperative pain subsequent to discharge from the hospital. The children expressed that they had experienced pain relief through the administration of pain medication, eating ice-cream and playing. The results indicate a need for further research in order to identify what elements of parents' perceptions of children's pain and pain medication should receive additional attention. In addition, the content, methods of providing and timing of discharge advice need to be developed in order to help parents with their efforts to achieve maximum pain relief in children after surgery.