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Nurses’ Knowledge and Attitudes About Pain in Hospitalized Patients

Jarrett, Anna PhD, ACNS/ACNP-BC; Church, Terri MSN, APN, ACNS-BC; Fancher-Gonzalez, Kim MSN, APN, ACNS-BC; Shackelford, Jamie; Lofton, Annelle BSN, RN, CWOCN, CFCN

doi: 10.1097/NUR.0b013e3182819133
Feature Article

Purpose: The purpose of the study was to measure knowledge and attitudes of nursing about pain management in patients before education, immediately after, and 6 months later. The end-point measure was Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems quarterly scores and percentile rank.

Design: This longitudinal, quasi-experimental, quantitative study used survey method with pretest and posttest scores to measure immediate learning and 6 months later to measure sustained changes in knowledge and attitudes for nurses in this facility.

Setting: The setting was a 360-bed acute care community hospital in the midsouth.

Sample: The sample consisted of approximately 206 bedside nurses who worked in an acute care facility and 164 final posttest participants.

Methods: The survey was used in a group setting immediately prior to a didactic learning experience. Immediately after the session, a posttest survey was administered. The 6-month follow-up occurred via an online module developed by the principal investigator. A repeated-measures analysis of variance, a pairwise comparison with a paired t test, and a Bonferroni correction were performed to determine if sustained knowledge and attitudes have changed.

Findings: Posttest scores were significantly higher than pretest scores on the Knowledge and Attitudes Survey Regarding Pain immediately after a didactic education session and 6 months later (P < .017).

Conclusions: Six months later, scores remained higher than pretest or immediate posttest scores.

Implications: Nurses with a stronger knowledge base may lead to better pain management, improved outcomes, and higher patient satisfaction scores.

Author Affiliations: Assistant Professor (Dr Jarrett), Eleanor Mann School of Nursing, and Graduate Nursing Student (Ms Lofton), ACNS Program, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville; Technician in the Intensive Care Unit (Ms Shackelford), Clinical Informaticist (Ms Church), and Clinical Nurse Specialist (Ms Fancher-Gonzalez), Washington Regional Medical Center, Fayetteville, Arkansas.

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

Correspondence: Anna Jarrett, PhD, ACNS/ACNP-BC, Eleanor Mann School of Nursing, University of Arkansas, 606 Razorback Rd, Fayetteville, AR 72702 (

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