Improving the Quality of Nurses’ Postoperative Pain Assessment and Management Practices

Inshirah K. Qadri, Maysoon S. Abdalrahim, Sawsan A. Majali, Margareta Warrén Stomberg, Ingegerd Bergbom


Objective: The purpose of this intervention study was to evaluate nurses’ postoperative assessment and management practices after the intervention of a pain management program in surgical wards.

Method: The program was evaluated using a quasi-experimental design. A total sample of 240 surgical patients (120 patients for the control group and 120 patients for the intervention group) were recruited from two surgical wards in a university hospital. Three instruments were used to collect data for this study: a) a self report questionnaire designed by De Rond, de Wit, Van Dam and Muller to assess patients’ communication about pain; b) the numerical rating scale to assess the intensity of the patients' pain; and c) the Pain and Anxiety Audit Tool to audit patients' records for documentation of pain.

Results: The results showed that after the implementation of the pain management program, patients’ satisfaction with the pain control became higher (91.7% vs. 63.3%, p < .05). There was a significant agreement between the pain ratings of the researchers’ and the nurses’, and there was a significant improvement in the nursing documentation of postoperative pain.

Conclusion: This intervention study highlights the effectiveness of implementing a postoperative pain management program for nurses’ aim of improving pain assessment and management practices. The results will help nurses working in surgical wards to accentuate the importance of introducing educational programs into their services and therefore improve pain treatment outcomes.


Postoperative pain, pain assessment, pain management, intervention study

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