Pi Phi Chapter

Dissemination and Implementation of Evidence-based Methods to Measure and Improve Pain

Nursing Research on the Green

2012 Abstract

Danielle Miller MSN, RN, CNL;
Ana Schaper PhD, RN; Dawn Steffes, Research Associate; Jennifer Donahue; Rachel Borucki; Melissa Franz; Libbie Nyarangi; Dylan Van Lith
Gundersen Lutheran Health Syste

  • Background: Pain is a major concern for hospitalized patients. Despite multiple quality initiatives to improve pain management, national studies continue to demonstrate that pain is inadequately managed. To date, no national study directly asked patients for their perception of their pain management.
  • Significance: This is a national study involving 400 hospitals, conducted by the National Database for Nurse Quality Indicators (NDNQI), and funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The goal of this study is to “implement and evaluate an innovative research program to measure and improve pain care processes and outcomes in a sample of hospitals across the U.S.”.
  • Purpose/objective: The purpose of this presentation is to compare data from patient responses at Gundersen Lutheran (GL) hospital with responses from comparable hospitals participating in this research.
  • Methods: Nursing students, trained in research ethics and data collections, interviewed patients on one day in April and November, 2011. Data were collected from patients on the following units: Medical-Surgical, Rehabilitation and Postpartum.
  • Results: National data indicated that patients’ mean pain score in the past 24 hours of their hospitalization was 5.7 + .6. Overall, patients responded that 72% of their pain was relieved by pain medications. Patients also indicated that nurses believed their reports of pain and they received pain medication in a timely manner. Patients were less likely to report that nurses offered them additional approaches to manage pain and that side effects of pain medications were discussed. Ratings from GL patients were the same or higher than those of national participants.
  • Clinical Implications: Research supports the effectiveness of a growing number of nursing interventions that help manage patients’ pain. The challenge is to deliver nursing interventions, particularly complimentary, holistic care practices given the daily demands of the work setting.

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