A1 Journal article – refereed

Nurses' perceptions of infants’ procedural pain assessment and alleviation with non-pharmacological methods in Estonia




List of Authors: Treiman-Kiveste Airin, Pölkki Tarja, Kalda Ruth, Kangasniemi Mari

Publisher: W.B. Saunders

Publication year: 2021

Journal: Journal of Pediatric Nursing

Journal name in source: Journal of Pediatric Nursing

eISSN: 1532-8449

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pedn.2021.09.006


Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study was to describe nurses perceptions of infants' procedural pain assessment and alleviation with non-pharmacological methods including parental guidance in departments of neonatal and infant medicine and Neonatal Intensive Care (NICUs).

Design and methods

A descriptive cross-sectional survey was carried out among all nurses (n= 149) who were working in neonatal and infant departments or NICUs in Estonian hospitals. Altogether, 128 questionnaires were returned and 111 respondents were eligible (75% response rate). The data were analysed using statistical methods.

Results

More than half of the nurses agreed that systematic documentation of the measurement of pain is necessary for nursing care and that it affects pain alleviation in infants. Half of the respondents (51%) confirmed that pain scales are important in the measurement of infants' pain, but 58% claimed they were able to assess pain in a reliable way without using pain assessment scales. Nurses also reported that they were unfamiliar with most pain scales and they were not routinely used in everyday practice. Nurses said that the most useful non-pharmacological pain alleviation methods were touching (83%) and positioning infants (78%), the most rarely used were skin-to-skin care (12%) and encouraging mothers to breastfeed the infant (34%). The majority of respondents (79%) reported that they do not know or do not have written instructions on pain assessment in their workplace, and only a few (10%) reported that they have participated in pain management courses during the last year.

Conclusions

There is a need to increase the use of pain assessment scales and pain documentation in everyday practice in those hospitals in Estonia. The use of scales in pain assessment was valued by few nurses. It seems that there is a lack of knowledge on non-pharmacological methods, and nurses reported using only a few non-pharmacological pain alleviation methods and guided parents on using them.

Practice implications

Nurses need pain management guidelines for everyday work, and in addition to nurses, written guidelines for parents are needed.


Last updated on 2021-01-12 at 09:14