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Keywords:

  • utilization of nursing research;
  • pain management;
  • research-based standards;
  • outcome evaluation

Although major advances in research have given clinicians the tools to provide pain-free hospitalization, inadequate pain relief continues to diminish patients' quality of care (Dufault, Bielecki, Collins, & Willey, 1995). Barriers to using current research for attaining best practice in pain management have been identified as providers' and patients' attitudes and lack of knowledge (Clarke et al., 1996), systems problems (Barnason, Merboth, Pozehl, & Tietjen, 1998), and regulatory obstacles (Yeager, Miaskowski, Dibble, & Wallhagan, 1997). Recently, inadequate pain management has expanded from an individual clinical problem to a public health policy issue as accreditation and regulatory groups have targeted pain management as an indicator of quality of care.