Knowledge, attitude and practice of nurses in paediatric units on pain assessment and management in selected facilities in Kumasi and Pramso

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July, 2019
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Adequate knowledge and attitude of nurses towards paediatric pain has a positive patient outcome during their hospitalization. However the knowledge, attitude and practices of assessment and management of children’s pain by nurses in Ghana have been explored to a limited extent. The study sought to describe the Knowledge and Attitude of nurses and also examine their practices in assessment and management of pain in Paediatric Units. A concurrent mixed method study was adopted to achieve the objective of the study. The paediatric pain knowledge and attitude questionnaire (PPKAQ) was used as survey instrument among 65 conveniently sampled nurses to measure their knowledge and attitude. Using participatory observation, the practices of pain assessment and management of 40 nurses were also assessed with the aid of a checklist. The findings from the quantitative study indicated that the nurses’ knowledge and attitude towards pain was not adequate (56.28%). The participants had the highest mean percentage of 59.15% in the domain of Non-Drug Pain Relief Methods and the lowest mean of 50.00% in the domain of Using Drugs to Relief Pain. These was notably below the 80% benchmark acceptable for nurses to deliver appropriate care to patients who are experiencing pain. There was a moderate, positive correlation between knowledge and attitude items (r=0.424, p<.001) on the PPKAQ instrument. An inductive analyses of the qualitative data indicated that the nurses’ practices on pain assessment and management were below the optimum, where they cited several personal and organizational cultural factors that hindered their provision of effective pain management in children. The findings of this study provide an insight to the knowledge and attitude as well as the practices of nurses for paediatric pain assessment and management. We recommend stakeholders to provide needed resources and regular training for the nurses to ensure they improve pain care for children and their families.
Paediatric units, Nurses, Pain assessment, Pain management