Background and aims Despite international standards for the assessment and management of paediatric pain, pain remains poorly treated. This study aimed to determine pain prevalence and pain management practices in surgical and non-surgical paediatric and neonatal patients.
Methods Following ethics approval, pain prevalence data were collected retrospectively in six paediatric and one neonatal unit of a tertiary referral hospital in Western Switzerland in the previous 24 h (J-1). Patients had to be hospitalised for at least 24 h to be included. Medical and nursing notes were reviewed to describe pain management practices. A Pain Management Index (PMI) was calculated. A PMI of 0 reflects optimal pain management, ≥ 0 can reveal overtreatment, and < 0 under treatment.
Results 73 patients had documented pain scores, 43(58.9%) were aged ≥3 years and 28(38.4%) had surgery. Pain prevalence at J-1 wasn’t significantly higher (28.6%) in surgical patients, compared to non-surgical (26.7%) (p = 0.859). There was no significant differences between pain prevalence in children >3 years of age (32.6%) and younger patients (20.0%), (p = 0.292). Better treatment for pain (PMI=0) was given to non-surgical patients (65, 8%), compared to surgical (33.3%, p = 0.019) and patients aged three and less (71.4%) compared to older patients (38.7%, p = 0.028).
Conclusions Although no significant, pain prevalence remains high in surgical patients and children > 3 years of age, which is reflected by less adequate pain treatment, when compared to non-surgical and younger patients. This may be explained by the difficulties in assessing and managing postoperative pain in early verbal children.
Acknowledgements/disclosures We sincerely thank the Nursing Director of the Paediatric Department, Mr Rui Terra, for his precious support throughout the project and Ms Diane Morin for her assistance in data entry. No disclosure to declare.
- pain assessment
- pain management