Patient satisfaction with postoperative pain management—effect of preoperative factors

Leila Niemi-Murola, Reino Pöyhiä, Kaarina Onkinen, Birthe Rhen, Arja Mäkelä, Tomi T Niemi
Pain Management Nursing: Official Journal of the American Society of Pain Management Nurses 2007, 8 (3): 122-9
Patients often suffer from inadequate treatment of postoperative pain. The purpose of this study was to survey the factors affecting patient satisfaction with postoperative pain management. A questionnaire with 41 items was given on the third postoperative day to 102 patients undergoing major orthopedic or vascular surgery. Intensity of pain was assessed using a 10-cm visual analogue scale (VAS) and given analgesics were recorded. Nurses (n = 74) working on the wards received a questionnaire concerning attitudes toward management of pain. The questionnaires were returned by 75.5% of the patients and 86.3 % of the nurses. Mean VAS on all wards was 2 (scale 0-10). Twenty-eight percent of the patients agreed having hard pain during the day of the operation and 39.3% during the first postoperative night. Eighty percent of the patients were satisfied with pain management, and their satisfaction correlated significantly with received preoperative information (p < .01) and preoperative well-being (p < .01). There is discrepancy between the amount of experienced pain and values of the frequent VAS recordings, which does not seem to be due to the nurses' attitudes toward pain. Preoperative interview is important tool to receive and give information concerning postoperative pain management.

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