Research Article
Volume 3 Issue 2 - 2021
Quality of Pain Assessment for Emergency Department Nurses and Physicians at a Tertiary Hospital
Gassan Abudari1*, Dina Aljawi1, Kholoud Almass2, Spasie Botha2 and Sukaina Alhunaidi2
1Palliative Care Clinical Nurse Specialist, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
2Pain Clinical Nurse Specialist, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
*Corresponding Author: Gassan Abudari, Palliative Care Clinical Nurse Specialist, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Received: November 04, 2020; Published: January 21, 2021


Background: Assessment of patients’ pain has been identified as crucial for pain management. Studies confirm that clinicians underestimate patients’ levels of pain. Poor assessment of pain can eventually lead to undertreating pain and eventually influence patients’ quality of life. The Emergency Department (ED) is considered the most challenging area for nurses and physicians to provide quality pain management. The quality of pain assessment has a prominent influence on the process of pain management in the ED.

Purpose of the Study: This study aims to measure the degree of congruence between pain characteristics as described by ED patients and the attending nurses’ and physicians’ documentation of pain assessment as well as the analgesia prescription pattern by ED and primary physicians.

Method: This study used a descriptive and quantitative design. 131 patients of ED admission were selected based on inclusion and exclusion criteria. The investigators interviewed patients and collected data to measure the level of pain congruency as well as sample demographics.

Results: Patient self-reported mean score was equal to 6.7 (SD = 2.3), whereas the nurses assessed pain mean score was equal to 4.9 (SD = 2.1). The paired t-test showed that the nurses significantly underestimated patients’ pain scores t(102) = 8.4, p < 0.001). This result highlights an overall incongruence of nurses’ scores with patient self-rating pain score. Regarding to the physicians, the analyzable scores were too small (n = 16) due to excessive missing documented pain scores by the primary physicians. The mean total number of conformities of nurses documented pain (score, location, frequency and character) was equal to 2.2 out of a maximum possible score of (= 4 points).

Conclusion/Application to Practice: The results indicate a modest compliance to the pain assessment documentation standards for nurses and physicians, which reflects a poor quality of pain assessment among healthcare providers in ED. It is recommended to further investigate the reasons for pain underestimation by nurses and the physicians poor pain documentation. A periodical quality audit is needed to reinforce the application of pain assessment documentation standards. Investigating physicians’ pain management knowledge and compliance to pain management guidelines is required.

Keywords: Pain Assessment; Pain Documentation; Emergency Department; Nurses; Physicians; Saudi Arabia


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Citation: Gassan Abudari., et al. “Quality of Pain Assessment for Emergency Department Nurses and Physicians at a Tertiary Hospital”. EC Nursing and Healthcare 3.2 (2021): 87-101.

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