Nurses' attitudes and perceptions of pain assessment in neonatal intensive care

Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences, 01/15/2010

Almost all (97%) of the nurses agreed that pain assessment in premature infants is important. However, over half (60%) of the respondents agreed that they could assess the premature infants pain reliably without pain scores. The respondents' perceptions of the premature infants' ability to sense and express pain indicated rather good knowledge of the topic. Nevertheless, one–fourth of the participants was unaware that a premature infant could be more sensitive in sensing pain than a full term counterpart. Education, work experience and the working unit were the demographic factors that were significantly related to the respondents' attitudes and perceptions. On average nurses' attitudes were positive towards the pain assessment in neonatal intensive care. However, there were some gaps in the knowledge concerning the respondents' perceptions of the items, which is a challenge to nursing and nursing education.

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