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Time for Action: Understanding Health Care Professionals Views on Pain and Pain Management in a Pediatric Hospital

Published:November 14, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pmn.2022.10.002

      Background

      Children admitted to the hospital experience pain. ChildKind International (CKI) is an organization dedicated to improving the quality of pediatric pain care worldwide. In 2019, BC Children hospital (BCCH) clinicians set out to achieve this certification. A qualitative study was performed in order to fully comprehend the current state of pain assessment and management at BCCH.

      Aim

      The objective of this study is to characterize the perceptions of health care professionals (HCPs) about pediatric pain and pain management in a pediatric hospital.

      Methods

      We choose a quantitative methodology as it allows us to delve more deeply into the HCPs’ personal experience with pain and pain management of children in the hospital. We interviewed 31 pediatric healthcare professionals (N = 31).

      Results

      HCPs believe there is a significant lack of resources, especially educational resources, to adequately assess and treat pain in children. There is a lack of time to evaluate each patient appropriately and use pain tools consistently for both verbal and non-verbal children. HCPs varied in their opinions as to whether a procedure is painful or uncomfortable, and this opinion often differs from the perception of the child. Additionally, staff recognize that cultural diversity of both staff and patients can influence pain assessment and management in children. Therefore, there is a need for increased cultural diversity training for staff.

      Conclusions

      Pain management and treatment of children in the hospital remain inconsistent and inadequate. ChildKind certification will help hospitals to address this gap in their clinical practice.
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