• nurses;
  • nursing;
  • pain;
  • patient-controlled analgesia (PCA);
  • perioperative;
  • postoperative;
  • South Korea;
  • structured education

Aims and objectives.  The purpose of the study was to evaluate the effects of a structured educational programme on the patient-controlled analgesia device in terms of postoperative pain, dose of analgesics used, adverse reactions, patient knowledge and attitudes of patient-controlled analgesia and patient satisfaction with postoperative pain management among gynaecological patients in South Korea.

Background.  Patient-controlled intravenous analgesia has become the most common method to manage postoperative pain. Although the patient-controlled analgesia device can be very effective in managing pain, patients using external pump delivery have several problems because of their lack of knowledge of patient-controlled analgesia. To minimise these problems, nursing interventions that may decrease the number of problems should be developed and adopted into clinical practice.

Design.  A non-equivalent control group, non-synchronised design.

Methods.  The participants were 79 patients who had gynaecological surgery under general anaesthesia. Of the 79 patients, 39 were assigned to the experimental group and 40 to the control group. A day before surgery, 40 minutes of structured education on the patient-controlled analgesia device was provided individually to the patients in the experimental group using both a CD-ROM and brochure.

Results.  Pain level and adverse reactions were significantly lower in the experimental group than in the control group. Furthermore, the analgesic dose administered and the level of patient satisfaction with postoperative pain management increased significantly in the experimental group compared with the control group.

Conclusion.  A structured educational programme on the patient-controlled analgesia can be an effective nursing intervention for pain management in gynaecological patients.

Relevance to clinical practice.  Nurses caring for the patients who are using the patient-controlled analgesia should provide a structured educational programme to increase knowledge of pain management with patient-controlled analgesia, patient satisfaction with pain management, as well as more effective management of the pain and adverse reaction caused by patient-controlled analgesia.