Nurses' knowledge of pain and its management in older people
Evidence & Practice    

Nurses' knowledge of pain and its management in older people

Monica Furjanic Registered nurse, emergency department, Mission Hospital, Asheville, North Carolina, US. At time of writing, student, National University of Ireland, Galway
Adeline Cooney Head of school, School of Nursing and Midwifery, National University of Ireland, Galway
Bernard McCarthy Lecturer, School of Nursing and Midwifery, National University of Ireland, Galway
Aim

To identify nurses' knowledge of pain and its management in older people in acute hospitals.

Method

A quantitative, descriptive, cross-sectional design was used to survey a convenience sample of nurses. Data were collected using the Pain in the Elderly Questionnaire.

Results

The overall mean total score on the questionnaire was 65%, with scores ranging from 7-100%. While there is no recommended score, results indicate lack of nurse knowledge. The four questions with the lowest percentage of correct scores were related to pharmacology. Less than 25% of nurses had recent pain management education.

Conclusion

These findings indicate a knowledge deficit among nurses regarding pain and its management in older people, particularly in relation to opioid management. To improve pain management, nurses caring for older people would benefit from participation in an education programme with clinical application, such as expert-led, real-life or simulation demonstrations rather than lecture/discussion format only.

Nursing Older People. doi: 10.7748/nop.2016.e814

Correspondence

monica.furjanic@gmail.com

Peer review

This article has been subject to double-blind review and has been checked for plagiarism using automated software

Received: 29 February 2016

Accepted: 16 September 2016

Published online: 17 October 2016