Post-operative pain management: a literature review
*The literature review was undertaken as part of a 3–year Department of Health-funded study called the ODySSSy Project where a nursing quality-assurance system was being evaluated in relation to its effect on nursing actions and patient outcomes on the quality of post-operative pain management in 10 acute surgical wards.
Professor Alison Kitson, National Institute fur Nursing, Radcliffe Infirmary, Woodstock Road, Oxford OX2 6HE, UK.
- •The appropriateness of any set of criteria generated to measure the quality of a particular intervention is dependent upon a thorough, up-to-date assessment of the current state-of-the-art. Few areas in nursing have received as much research attention as that of pain control, particularly post-operative pain control.
- •The following review of the literature* on this subject complements earlier reviews undertaken by Seers (1988) by organizing the information according to four distinct categories, namely environmental issues, nursing actions, patient outcomes and a review of a number of pain measures. This particular format was selected in order to help in the development of structure, process and outcome criteria on the topic of post-operative pain management.
- •The section on measurement is to inform practitioners about pain-assessment charts and provide ideas about auditing this area.