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Assessment of Acute Pain in Nursing Practice in Latvia

Author(s): Iveta Strode | Sandra Seimane

Journal: International Journal of Collaborative Research on Internal Medicine & Public Health
ISSN 1840-4529

Volume: 3;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 320;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: Acute pain | assessment of pain | nursing | pain management | postoperative pain in adults | postoperative patient care

Background: International Association for the Study of Pain defines pain as annoying sensations and emotions associated with actual or potential tissue damage or is described as such damage. Pains always are considered to be subjective sensations with multidimensional nature composed from physical, emotional and cognitive components. One of the main tasks in pain syndrome effective therapy is the option to perform objective assessment of pain intensity and quality utilizing principle of continuity. Independent surveys on pain management in postoperative period are performed in different countries of the world. Studies analyze effectiveness of both - medical and non-medical measurements in order to reduce pain syndrome. Very few investigations of chronic and acute pain influence on recovery process, progress and outcome of illness, assessment of pain intensity and quality are performed in Latvia. In the case of acute pain chronification, pain perception and management can be changed; pains become inadequately long lasting and may combine with psychogenic pains. According to the data obtained by the World Health Organization, fifty percent patients after injuries or operations have severe and insufferable pains despite the development of acute pain treatment and care. Insufficiently controlled postoperative pains become a risk factor for development of various abnormalities. Aim of the study: To study the usage of postoperative period pain intensity and quality assessment scales in the clinical practice of nursing, as well as availability of these methodsMaterial and methods: Survey utilizes quantitative research method. As an investigation tool was chosen questionnaire. Survey was carried out in the surgical profile wards in Riga and regional clinics of Latvia. Questionnaire embraced 309 nurses, working in the surgical profile.Results: Assessment of acute pains should be considered as the fifth vital sign providing more successful achievement of aims in pain care. Respondents recognize that in pain assessment pain evaluation scales are rarely used. In clinical practice prevails assessment of patient’s subjective condition. Only 5% of nurses – respondents utilize visual analogue scale, 22% - verbal pain scale, 16% - numerical pain rating scale. Investigation data confirm the role of professional experience of nurse in organization of pain assessment and care work, because 98% of respondents mention pain assessment as a constituent of nursing. Conclusions: One of the main objectives in effective therapy of pain syndrome is the possibility to perform objective assessment of pain intensity and quality. This objective should be achieved only with a help of shared team work – nurse, physician, anesthetist and other medical staff.

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