AbstractBackgroundPain is one of the most common symptoms treated in emergency department (ED). Pain may cause suffering and disability for the patient. Inadequate pain management may be associated with increased risk of complications such as sleep disturbance, delirium and depression. Previous studies conclude that pain management in ED is insufficient and inadequate. Yet, little is known about patients’ own experience regarding pain management in ED.ObjectiveThe aim of this study was to explore the satisfaction of pain management in patients having acute musculoskeletal injuries before and after implementation of mandatory documentation regarding pain assessment in the ED.MethodAn observational pre-post intervention study design was used. The study was conducted on patients having acute musculoskeletal injuries such as soft tissue injury, back pain or wrist/arm/leg/foot fractures in a 24-h adult (>15 years) ED at a public urban teaching hospital in Stockholm, Sweden. Data was collected by an interview based on a questionnaire.ResultsA total of 160 patients answered the questionnaire. In the pre- (n = 80) and post-intervention (n = 80) groups, 91/95% experienced pain in the ED. A significant difference (p < 0.003) was found during the post-intervention period, with more patients receiving analgesics compared to the pre-intervention group. A significant decline (p < 0.03) in patients’ own reported pain intensity at discharge was found between the groups. Patients’ reported satisfaction on pain management in the ED increased in the post-intervention group, but the difference was not statistically significantly.ConclusionPatients’ satisfaction with pain management increased, but not statistically significantly. However, both percentages of patients receiving analgesic drugs increased and pain intensity decrease at discharge were statistically significant after the intervention that made nurses obliged to register pain.ImplicationAccording to the findings of this study, mandatory pain documentation facilitates pain management in the ED, but there is still room for improvement. Additional actions are needed to improve patients’ satisfaction on pain management in the ED. Mandatory pain documentation in combination with person-centred care could be a way of improving patients’ satisfaction on pain management. Effective pain management is an important quality measure, and should be focused on in acute care in the ED. By routinely asking patients to report the pain intensity at discharge, the ED personnel can have direct feedback about the factual pain management. RNs may also be encouraged to use intravenous analgesics in higher extent when the patients have very severe pain.
Scandinavian Journal of Pain – de Gruyter
Published: Dec 29, 2017
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