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Managing pain in chronic kidney disease: patient participation in decision-making

Authors

  • Elizabeth Manias,

    1. Elizabeth Manias MNursStud PhD RN Associate Professor School of Nursing, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, The University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
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  • Allison Williams

    1. Allison Williams MN PhD RN Postdoctoral Research Fellow School of Nursing, The University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
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E. Manias:
e-mail: emanias@unimelb.edu.au

Abstract

Title. Managing pain in chronic kidney disease: patient participation in decision-making

Aim.  This paper is a report of a study to examine how decisions about managing pain were made between patients with chronic kidney disease and nurses, what affected the decision style and the types of analgesics and adjuvant therapies given for pain relief in relation to a particular decision style.

Background. While pain often accompanies chronic kidney disease, little is known of how decisions are made about managing pain in clinical practice. Lack of patient involvement in decision-making may lead to inadequate care provision. In some care situations, nurses have been more concerned with medication side effects than giving effective pain relief.

Method. An exploratory study was conducted, using observations and interviews with a purposive sample of 14 nurses and 53 patients in five adult renal units in Australia. The data were collected during 2004.

Findings. Of the 103 pain activities observed, 78 involved a passive decision style between the nurse and patient, 19 involved a collaborative decision style, and six used an active decision style. The majority of routine analgesic and adjuvant medications administered involved a passive decision style. Most importantly, 25·6% of passive style decisions observed resulted in no administration of an analgesic or adjuvant medication; however, all collaborative and active style decisions observed resulted in administration of an analgesic or adjuvant medication.

Conclusion. Nurses need actively to encourage patient involvement in treatment decisions because this promotes effective pain control. More research is needed into how specific detailed information about pain treatments could improve patient participation in decision-making.

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