Evaluating students’ knowledge of child pain and its management after attending a bespoke course
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Evaluating students’ knowledge of child pain and its management after attending a bespoke course

Denise Owens Senior lecturer in children and young people’s nursing, University of Salford
Joanna Smith Senior lecturer in children’s nursing, University of Huddersfield
Denise Jonas Modern matron for complex and tertiary medicine, Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital

Denise Owens and colleagues discuss the results of a study to assess whether a targeted education programme improved practitioners’ skills in managing young patients

Aim To evaluate the impact of a structured pain education programme on pre-registration children’s nursing students’ knowledge of and attitudes to the management of child pain.

Method A total of 127 pre-registration children’s nursing students participated. A pre/post-intervention design was used to compare participants’ knowledge of and attitudes to pain and pain management in children before and after they attended a pain education programme. A group of similar students who did not undertake the programme until after the study were used as controls. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics.

Results Participants’ knowledge about pain management improved slightly, as shown by comparison of questionnaire answers before and after the programme for the intervention group. Although the proportion of students achieving correct answers in the intervention group was better overall than that of the controls, the percentages were disappointing and for some questions were less than 50%. However, the education intervention improved students’ knowledge of pain in children and attitudes towards managing children’s pain.

Conclusion A bespoke pain management education programme has the potential to develop a positive student attitude to children’s pain management. However, knowledge of the physiology and pharmacology of pain needs to be revisited throughout the undergraduate curriculum, as students struggle with these concepts.

Supplementary information Additional data (tables 3-5) from the results of this study are available on the Nursing Children and Young People website at rcnpublishing.com/r/NCYP334

Nursing Children and Young People. 26, 2, 34-40. doi: 10.7748/ncyp2014.



Peer review

This article has been subject to open blind peer review

Conflict of interest

None declared

Received: 11 December 2012

Accepted: 18 September 2013

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