Attitudes and knowledge of pain issues: A survey in nurses from medical and surgical wards

Fèlix Bosch, Carme Castells, Josep Eladi Baños

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Pain relief is a frequent duty of nurses and the understanding of their attitudes and knowledge in pain topics is remarkably interesting. The aim of the present work was to gain information in how differences in professional activities (surgical versus medical nurses) may influence pain perception and affect knowledge and attitudes in analgesic therapy. A multiple choice questionnaire was submitted to nurses of four hospitals. A total of 347 nurses answered this questionnaire, and responses were analysed considering those working in medical and surgical wards separately. Medical nurses considered pain treatment as inadequate more frequently than their surgical colleagues, but a significant number of medical nurses reported their preference for pro re nata orders. The selected therapeutic dose of pethidine was significantly lower in medical than in surgical nurses. The knowledge of opioid side-effects could be considered better in this latter group. Lack of pain when analgesic dose must be administered was reported by both groups as a cause of low compliance of prescription orders. Several misconceptions, wrong attitudes and lack of knowledge were observed in both groups of nurses. However, medical nurses seemed to have less information on pain treatment that their surgical colleagues. Medical and surgical nursing staff have specific learning needs that should be taken into account when considering future educational programmes for nurses.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-71
JournalPain Clinic
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1996


  • Nurses' attitudes
  • Nurses' knowledge
  • Nursing education
  • Opioid analgesics
  • Opioid drug dependence
  • Pain assessment


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