[Use of Faces Scale in children's self-assessment of pain]

R Vihunen, M Sihvonen
Hoitotiede 1998, 10 (3): 123-33
In this study 3-8 year old children's pain assessment and management after tonsillectomies were evaluated on two otological wards. The sample consisted of 80 children, 40 from both wards and the response rate was 92%. The groups were compared with each other: on one ward nurses used the Faces Scale in children's self assessment of pain while the other was a comparative ward. The data were collected using measurements: 1. background of children, 2. intensity of children's pain after the operation observed by their parents, 3. parents' satisfaction with children's assessment and management of pain, 4. children's self assessment of pain with the Faces Scale and 5. documentation of children's pain management. The data were analysed by cross-tabulations, mean-values, t-test, Pearson's correlation and content analysis. 40% of children had severe or intolerable pain after the operation observed by their parents. Children's self assessment of pain and parents' observations correlated highly (r = .74, p < .05). Children had less pain (the difference was statistically significant) on the ward, where the Faces Scale was used in pain assessment. The parents were also more satisfied with their children's pain assessment and management on this ward. However, there were differences in pain management practices between there two wards. Nurses need more education to be able to assess and manage children's pain adequately.

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