Anticipating and experiencing post-operative pain: the patients' perspective
Version of Record online: 18 DEC 2007
Journal of Clinical Nursing
Volume 6, Issue 3, pages 191–201, May 1997
How to Cite
CARR, E. C.J. and THOMAS, V.J. (1997), Anticipating and experiencing post-operative pain: the patients' perspective. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 6: 191–201. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2702.1997.tb00304.x
- Issue online: 18 DEC 2007
- Version of Record online: 18 DEC 2007
- Accepted for publication 17 January 1996
- pain management;
- post-operative pain
- •This study uses a qualitative approach to explore patients' expectations and experiences of pain, factors contributing to the effective/ineffective management of their pain and strategies patients reported as helpful when experiencing pain. Ten patients on a mixed surgical ward at a District General Hospital in the south of England participated in the study.
- •Pain scores, using a visual analogue scale, were obtained for ‘expected’ pain pre-operatively and ‘worst pain experienced’. A taped in-depth interview exploring patients' experience of pain after surgery took place on the fifth post-operative day.
- •Details of analgesia were also collected for the 5 days following surgery.
- •Patients expected pain after surgery but the intensity of the pain they experienced was often significantly greater than anticipated.
- •Lack of information, inadequate pain assessment and ineffective pain control contributed to this finding.
- •It is suggested that new pain technology, such as epidural and patient-controlled analgesia, may not change the prevalence and incidence of pain unless the systems these technologies are placed within also change.