PURPOSE: Pain is recognized as the fifth vital sign. Wide variations in pain management continue to occur world-wide despite international organizations’ efforts to improve and streamline this process. We developed a 16-question pilot survey to explore healthcare workers’ perceptions of pain and pain management. This effort is intended to identify barriers to appropriate pain assessment and management.
METHODS: Extensive literature searches were undertaken to understand investigations studying pain perception and management, particularly from the healthcare workers’ perspectives. This search prompted the development of our pilot survey, which includes 16 questions regarding perceptions of addiction, hemodynamic stability, legal issues, patient expression of pain, and pain management training and education. We received a Mayday Fund grant to support this work, and the study underwent Internal Review Board (IRB) presentation and approval prior to initiation.
RESULTS: Initial reliability analysis of the 16 item questionnaire resulted in a Cronbach’s alpha of .615. The standardized alpha was .620. Examination of the items revealed that reliability would improve to .66 with the removal of question 16. An Exploratory Factor Analysis with principle components extraction and Varimax rotation was performed. As expected, a total of 5 factors with Eigen values over 1 were extracted. These results are consistent with the screen plot.
CONCLUSIONS: Based on the findings of the pilot study, the pain questionnaire is a potentially valuable instrument to assess healthcare providers’ perceptions of pain and pain management. These preliminary results will be utilized to revise the questionnaire to improve the reliability and validity. The revised questionnaire will then be administered to a larger sample of healthcare providers at our affiliate institutions.
CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: A valid and reliable tool for assessing healthcare workers’ perceptions of pain and pain management is much needed. We have developed such a tool and are working to refine the reliability and validity of the instrument. Ultimately, we hope that this tool will aid in identifying barriers to appropriate assessment and management of pain in a multitude of global healthcare settings.
DISCLOSURE: The following authors have nothing to disclose: Pooja Raju, Chaitali Gupte, Jill Jackson, Sean Studer, Jennifer LaRosa
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