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Nurses' Knowledge of Pain Management for Patients with Combat-Related Traumatic Brain Injuries on Rehabilitation Units

Jaimes, Lorena M. DNP, ARNP1; Thompson, Hilaire J. PhD, RN, CNRN, ACNP-BC, FAAN2; Landis, Carol A. DNSc, RN, FAAN2; Warms, Catherine A. PhD, ARNP CRRN3

doi: 10.1002/rnj.156
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Purpose: The purpose of this project was to survey nurses' knowledge of pain management for patients with combat-related traumatic brain injuries (TBI).

Design/Methods: A survey was used to collect data regarding nurses' knowledge of pain assessment and management for patients with combat-related TBI. Nurses were invited to participate in the study via email and provided with a link to the electronic survey.

Findings: Twenty-five surveys were returned (52% response rate). A total of 76% of nurse respondents perceived that TBI patients over report pain intensity. Only 40% of nurses were able to correctly identify the appropriate medication to treat migraine-type headache pain in TBI patients.

Conclusion: This study identified gaps in knowledge regarding pain management for patients with combat related TBIs.

Clinical Relevance: Nurses need additional education regarding common pain syndromes, available treatments, and a better understanding of addiction in order to provide optimal care to these patients.

1 Department of Veterans Affairs, Pacific Islands Healthcare System, Honolulu, HI, USA

2 Department of Biobehavioral Nursing and Health Systems, University of Washington Medical Center, Seattle, WA, USA

3 (Retired), University of Washington Medical Center, Seattle, WA, USA

Accepted January 5, 2014

Correspondence

Hilaire J. Thompson, PhD, Associate Professor, Biobehavioral Nursing and Health Systems, Box 357266, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195.

E-mail: hilairet@uw.edu

© 2015 Association of Rehabilitation Nurses.
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