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Understanding Nurse Characteristics that Influence Assessment and Intention to Treat Pain in Postoperative Patients: An Integrative Literature Review

Published:April 14, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pmn.2022.03.003

      Abstract

      Objectives

      An understanding of nurse characteristics that influence pain management, which are potentially amenable to change, can help to refine and improve nurse education and practice, resulting in better patient outcomes. The purpose of this review was to identify nurse characteristics that influence their assessment of and intention to treat postoperative pain.

      Design

      Integrative literature review.

      Data sources

      A systematic search of electronic databases (CINAHL, Scopus, PsycINFO, Medline, and Embase), using these constructs “pain assessment”, “pain management”, “postoperative pain”, “nurses”, “cultural beliefs” and “nurses’ perceptions” was conducted for the period 2000 to October 2020.

      Review/Analysis methods

      Following a systematic screening process, the included articles were analyzed and synthesized to identify themes and subthemes.

      Results

      A total of 40 articles were included with three main themes identified: nurse knowledge; nurse sociocultural factors, personal beliefs and attitudes, and other characteristics; and believing or doubting the patient. There was evidence that targeted education interventions can improve nurse knowledge and nurses’ clinical practice in relation to pain management. What was less clear was which nurse attitudes and biases influenced their pain management practice or how these could be changed.

      Conclusions

      More studies are needed to investigate the influence of cultural characteristics on pain assessment and management. There is a need for further quantitative studies that explore the relationship between nurse characteristics and their pain management practice. Intervention studies using innovative educational approaches that change attitudes and biases, and improve practice are needed.
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