Background and aims Compliance with pain assessment in Paediatric Intensive Care Units is not always perfect. We aimed to identify factors explaining compliance or noncompliance with pain assessment in PICU patients.
Methods PICU nurses were asked 5 times to complete the same survey on pain management of the most critically ill child they cared for during the shift. Questions informed after the usefulness of pain assessment in this specific child, whether the nurse had assessed pain according to protocol, and any negative/positive impressions of the current shift. Relationships between compliance and these factors were evaluated with Fisher exact tests.
Results Ninety-three nurses returned 1 to 5 surveys (response rate 77%), in total 407 surveys. The median working experience of the nurses (94.6% females) at the PICU was 8 years (2 to 33 years). Pain was assessed in 89.4% of 406 surveys. Most shifts were perceived as positive (82%), 10% as negative, 5% mixed and 3% as neutral. Assessment yes/no was not significantly related to a negatively or positively experienced shift (p = 0.82 and 0.81 respectively). In 30% of surveys nurses considered assessment not useful but this was not significantly related to assessment yes/no (p = 0.36).
Conclusions Compliance to pain assessment was acceptable. Whether non-compliance is primarily related to patient factors or nurse factors needs to be further unravelled.