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Keywords:

  • children in hospital;
  • educational intervention;
  • non-pharmacological methods;
  • nurses;
  • postoperative pain management

he h.-g., jahja r., lee t.-l., ang e.n.k., sinnappan r., vehviläinen-julkunen k. & chan m.f. (2010) Nurses’ use of non-pharmacological methods in children’s postoperative pain management: educational intervention study. Journal of Advanced Nursing66(11), 2398–2409.

Abstract

Aim.  This paper is a report of study of the impact of an educational intervention in pain management on nurses’ self-reported use of non-pharmacological methods for children’s postoperative pain relief and their perceptions of barriers that limited their use of these methods.

Background.  Non-pharmacological methods have been shown to be effective in relieving pain; however, many barriers, including lack of knowledge, limit nurses’ use of these methods. Pain education is a promising strategy for changing nursing practice, but only a few authors have examined the effectiveness of educational interventions for nurses to help relieve children’s postoperative pain.

Methods.  A quasi-experimental one-group pre- and post-test design was used. Questionnaire surveys were conducted with a convenience sample of 108 Registered Nurses in two public hospitals in Singapore in 2008.

Results.  Statistically significant increases were found in nurses’ self-reported use of imagery, positive reinforcement, thermal regulation, massage and positioning in the postintervention survey. Before the intervention, these methods were less frequently used compared to other methods. Heavy workload/lack of time and the child’s inability to cooperate were the most commonly reported barriers at pre- and post-test.

Conclusion.  The educational intervention had a positive effect on nurses’ use of several non-pharmacological methods. Regular dissemination of updated information to nurses on these pain management methods is recommended to maintain the positive changes. Nevertheless, education alone was not sufficient to optimize nurses’ use of these methods, as various barriers limited their practice.