Effects of 'pain-advisers': district nurses' opinions regarding their own knowledge, management and documentation of patients in chronic pain

Lena Törnkvist, Ann Gardulf, Lars-Erik Strender
Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences 2003, 17 (4): 332-8
This study investigated whether district nurses' opinions changed after the education and introduction of district nurses as 'pain-advisers' at primary health care centres (PHCCs) regarding working conditions and satisfaction with pain control management at their PHCCs, their own knowledge of pain control and satisfaction with their own pain control management, pain assessment and nursing documentation of patients with chronic pain conditions. A study area (SA) with five PHCCs and a control area (CA) with seven PHCCs were selected. In the SA, 28 and in the CA, 25 district nurses answered a questionnaire both before and after the introduction of the 'pain-advisers' into the SA. The district nurses in both areas in 1996 and 1998 considered many aspects of pain management to be unsatisfactory. According to the district nurses in the SA, several statistically significant improvements were achieved after the introduction of the 'pain-advisers'; more district nurses reported that pain policies or other written information were now available at their PHCCs, that they were more satisfied with present overall routines at their PHCCs, that a better pain control was applied at their PHCCs regarding patients with leg ulcers, that they themselves to a greater extent performed individual pain assessments of the patients and that they more often used pain visual analogue scales to assess the patients' pain and to evaluate the results of the pain treatment. They also reported an increased satisfaction with their own nursing documentation. Although much remains to be done, it must be acknowledged that the 'pain-advisers', with relatively small resources, managed to make significant improvements.

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