OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the recording of pain intensity in hospital charts. METHODS: A cross-sectional study was carried out in 15 hospitals in a sample of admitted patients with pain. Clinical data, including pain intensity, were gathered from the hospital records. Multiple analysis of variance was used to identify factors related to the intensity of pain recorded in the patients' charts. RESULTS: A total of 1038 patients with a mean (SD) age of 56.1 (18.9) years were included. Pain intensity was noted in the charts of 47.9% (95% confidence interval [CI], 44.9%-50.9%) of the patients. Pain intensity had been noted for 68.9% (95% CI, 61.4%-76.4%) of the patients with cancer, 43% (95% CI, 38.2%-47.8%) of postoperative patients, 38.2% (95% CI, 35%-41.4%) of trauma patients, and 26.6% (95% CI, 16.9%-36.3%) of postpartum women. There was great interhospital variability. Factors associated with the recording of pain intensity in medical charts were hospital characteristics (large hospitals, teaching hospitals, hospitals and internal medicine and surgical specialities) and type of patient (cancer and trauma cases and patients reporting pain to the staff). CONCLUSION: There is inadequate written recording of intensity of pain in hospitals, even though there is considerable interhospital variation. Pain intensity assessment and recording is an indicator of quality of health care and should become a routine practice in hospital health care.
|Journal||Revista española de anestesiología y reanimación|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Mar 2007|