Revista de la Sociedad Española del Dolor
versión impresa ISSN 1134-8046
MONTES, A. et al. Health care professionals and pain: a cross-sectional study on information, assessment and treatment. Rev. Soc. Esp. Dolor [online]. 2008, vol.15, n.2, pp.75-82. ISSN 1134-8046.
Background and aims: One of the proposals made by institutional programs to improve pain control is setting up of interdisciplinary committees. There is a lack of studies which evalúate how health care professionals cope with pain management. In order to discover the opinions and attitudes of hospital staff a study was conducted which focused on: information provided to the patient, assessment of pain and treatment methods used. Methods: A random sample of 25% was chosen from 1060 hospital based personnel. The 264 subjects chosen were: 116 doctors or sénior health technicians (TS), and 148 nurses or médium grade health technicians (TM), employed in medical and surgical áreas. The questionnaire consisted of 12 questions grouped into three blocks: patient-personnel information-communication, assessment of the diagnostic protocol, and therapeutic measures applied. Results: The response rate was 58,7% (doctors 52,6%, nurses 63,5%). Written information is given to patients in 29,6% of cases, and verbal information is given to only 71,6%. Health professionals are aware of their responsibility (87,1%) but only 52,2% have received any training in pain management. While 81,3% ask the patient if they are in pain, only 35,5% use categorical scales, and 45,8% use visual analog scales. In surgical áreas, 92,6% of TM and 86,4% of TS mention the existence of protocols, whereas in medical áreas the corresponding figures were 28,3% of TM and 35,9% of TS. Conclusions: The results suggest that measures should be taken to improve pain management.
Palabras clave : Pain; questionnaire; health care professionals; assessment; information; committees.