Background: The presence of pain is one of the main reasons why people seek health care, however pain is often undertreated. Inadequate treatment has been linked to health care professionals' failure to assess pain and to intervene appropriately. It may also result from the limited attention given to pain management in nursing curricula.
Objectives: The objectives of this study were to explore the current knowledge and attitudes regarding pain management among baccalaureate nursing students and the factors that might influence such knowledge and attitudes, and nursing students perceived barriers to adequate pain management during clinical practice.
Methods: The descriptive design included a sample of 240 baccalaureate nursing students in three nursing schools in three governmental universities in Jordan. The Knowledge and Attitudes Survey Regarding Pain scale was used to measure knowledge and attitudes regarding pain management. Data were analyzed by descriptive statistics and independent sample t test. Data were collected over a period of three months from April 2012 to June 2012. Results: Of the 340 distributed questionnaires; 240 completed questionnaires were returned. The data showed that nursing students were found to have inadequate knowledge and attitudes related to pain and its management. The mean correct score for the entire scale was 34.1%. (SD=9.9). Findings revealed that there were significant differences found in the students' scores related to pain management training and frequency of using pain assessment tools (pb0.05).The most frequently identified barriers were lack of knowledge and training regarding pain management followed by not using pain assessment tools by nurses who are working in the clinical areas.
Conclusion: The study findings demonstrated that nursing students have insufficient knowledge and attitudes regarding pain and its management and could benefit from additional education and training on that issue.
Nurse Education Today 33 (2013) 339–345
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