Acute pain in surgical patients.

Anthony Schoenwald, Cath Rogers Clark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to assess experiences of acute surgical pain by patient description of pain intensity and patient satisfaction with peri-operative pain management in a variety of adult surgical patients prior to the appointment of an acute pain nurse in a hospital in Queensland, Australia. METHOD: One hundred and seventeen patients who underwent various surgical procedures were surveyed using a pain rating scale (0-10) and a scale assessing their perceptions of the treatment they received for their post-operative pain. FINDINGS: The results provide baseline data about the adequacy of acute pain management within the hospital prior to the implementation of an acute pain service and an acute pain nurse. Overall, patients reported considerable pain postoperatively, yet were satisfied with the way their pain was treated. CONCLUSION: These findings are consistent with previous research highlighting that acute pain management continues to be a serious clinical issue and that high satisfaction ratings should be viewed with suspicion. The study supports the need for a stronger clinical focus on managing acute pain, with suggested areas for improvement including better educational support for patients, clinician education and thorough assessment and planning throughout the patients' experience.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-108
Number of pages12
JournalContemporary nurse : a journal for the Australian nursing profession
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2006
Externally publishedYes


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