HCS/438 Statistical Application
December 9, 2012
Analysis of Research Report
The complexities of pain management of the post operative patient can be attributed to the lack of knowledge and beliefs surrounding pain management which has been correlated to nurses who did not or have not received adequate or on going continuing pain management education. Misconceptions include incorrect attitudes and beliefs about pharmacological treatment of pain (Brockopp et al, 1998), exaggerated risks of opioid addiction and respiratory depression (Brockopp et al, 1998), concerns around patient tolerance (Ferrell et al, 1993) and not believing patients who report pain (Broström et al, 2004). The purpose of the research paper that is being reviewed was to assess the effectiveness of an acute pain educational program in improving nurses’ knowledge, skills and attitudes around postoperative pain management (McNamara, Harmon, & Saunders, 2012).
A lack of education on pain management, incorrect information in textbooks and nurse lecturers’ inadequate knowledge have been identified as barriers to improving the care of patients in pain (Wallace et al, 1995). Educational programs have the potential of improving nurses’ knowledge of pain and provide a chance to address negative feelings and beliefs. An overview of the study reveals that it partly replicates a research study that was conducted by Scott and Davis exploring the attitudes of nurses towards pain assessment and management. The Center for Nurse and Midwifery Education (CNME) and the Acute Pain Service (APS) team at Health Service Executive Mid-Western Regional Hospital conducted and delivered a four-hour educational program on acute pain management.
A mixed-methods experimental approach was used to study the effects of an educational program on nurses’ attitudes and knowledge of pain management and measurement. This study allowed for a time-series analysis where the participants were examined before, immediately after and six weeks after the educational program was taken. A limitation of this study was due to the lack of randomization. Fifty-nine nurses attended the course. A questionnaire was developed and handed out to the nurses to assess their knowledge, skills, and attitudes towards acute pain management. A constraint to this was that there was no opportunity to have an open discussion about the questions. The questionnaire captured the nurses’ views of pain in the time and space given, however a disadvantage to that was that it told little about the context in which the participants formulated their responses. The questionnaire consisted of eighteen statements related to pain management and experience of pain assessment scale. The questionnaire was designed to include the nurses’ profile information, occupation and previous education in pain.
The data from the questionnaire was analyzed using descriptive statistical measures: frequencies, distributions and cross tabulations. An itemized analysis was conducted first to define response choice frequencies and any item difficulty.
The results concluded, with one hundred per cent of the sample (n=59) had completed the questions before the program and 97% (n=57) of them completing it immediately after. However only 44% (n=26) completed the test six weeks after. According to McNamara, Harmon, & Saunders (2012), the sample was 100% female and the mean number of years experience was 13.74. Respectively the mean number of qualifications was two. Of the 59 samples, four of them had eluded to the fact of having some previous pain management education. All of the nurses worked in the hospital and twenty-five percent worked in general surgical units, twenty-two percent in high dependency, ten percent in theatre, twenty-four percent worked on the orthopedic floor and seventeen percent in other units. All of the nurses had exposure to medicating patient with