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Nurses’ Evaluations of the Feasibility and the Clinical Utility of the Critical-Care Pain Observation Tool

  • Céline Gélinas
    Correspondence
    Address correspondence to Céline Gélinas, RN, PhD, Assistant Professor, School of Nursing, McGill University, 3506, University Street, Wilson Hall, Room 420, Montreal, Quebec, H3A 2A7 Canada.
    Affiliations
    School of Nursing, McGill University, Montréal, Québec, Canada and the Centre for Nursing Research, Jewish General Hospital
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Published:September 22, 2009DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pmn.2009.05.002

      Abstract

      Feasibility and clinical utility are essential characteristics to consider when it comes to developing or selecting a pain assessment tool to implement into practice. However, these characteristics have not been widely studied with available pain assessment tools in critically ill adults. The objective of this study was to describe nurses’ evaluations of the feasibility and clinical utility of the Critical-Care Pain Observation Tool (CPOT) in assessing pain in critically ill ventilated adults. A descriptive design was used. Of the 51 nurses who used the CPOT with the enrolled patients (n = 55), 33 returned their completed evaluation form. Overall, the feasibility and clinical utility of the CPOT were positively evaluated by the nurse participants. More than 90% of them supported that the directives about the use of the CPOT were clear and that it was simple to understand and easy to complete. Regarding its clinical utility, a little more than 70% of the nurses mentioned that the CPOT was helpful for nursing practice and recommended its use routinely. They acknowledged that the CPOT provided them with a common language and a standardized way to assess patients’ pain. Half of the nurse participants supported that the CPOT had influenced their practice. On the other hand, six nurses mentioned that they were already sensitive to nonverbal cues of pain before the introduction of the CPOT. In conclusion, the CPOT is a valid behavioral pain scale, which has been suggested by experts in recent critical reviews. So far, the CPOT is being used for research purposes and has been implemented into clinical practice of various health care centers of North America.
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