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Revista de la Sociedad Española del Dolor

versión impresa ISSN 1134-8046


FERNANDEZ-GALINSKI, D. L. et al. Patients´and health professionals´knowledge and attitudes towards postoperative pain. Rev. Soc. Esp. Dolor [online]. 2007, vol.14, n.1, pp.3-8. ISSN 1134-8046.

Introduction: Lack of updated knowledge about postoperative pain in health care professionals sustains suboptimal practice that Jeopardize patients' recovery. In the context of an Acute Pain Service programme, and before the development of an educational plan, a survey exploring attitudes and abilities of patients, nurses and surgeons about postoperative pain was performed. Material and methods: The study was carried out in a teaching hospital with 240 adult surgical beds. One hundred questionnaires regarding postoperative pain experiences and expectations were distributed among patients above 18 years of age undergoing elective surgical procedures. Surgical wards nurses received 100 questionnaires to investígate attitudes and knowledge toward postoperative pain treatments. Sixty five questionnaires addressed surgical staff enquired about complications and management of postoperative pain. Results: 79% (IC95%: 68-87) of patients had previously undergone surgical procedures, 39% (IC95%: 27-51) of these claimed to have experienced pain and it was modérate or severe for 46% of them. Regarding the subsequent procedure, 65% (IC95%: 54-75) of patients preferred to receive morphine before having pain. 18% (IC95%: 10-27) of nursing staff did not know about correct intramuscular opioids management, and 10% (IC95%: 4-17) were not familiar with the intravenous route. Treatment with epidural local anaesthetics was unknown for 23% (IC95%: 4-33) of nurses. 46% (IC95%: 35-57) of them believed that fear to side effeets precluded adminis-tration of opioids. Only 53% (IC95%: 40-66) of surgeons knew that postoperative pain could cause abdominal ileus. When they were required because their patient referred pain, only 33% (IC95%: 21-46) of them ordered the analgesic treatment. 100% of surgical staff preferred to follow appropriate guidelines to treat postoperative pain. Conclusions: Continuing education of health care personnel and information given to patients about postoperative pain are essential for effectiveness and safety of the analgesic treatments.

Palabras clave : Postoperative pain; attitudes; continuing education.

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