Pain Assessment Among Non-Communicating Intellectually Disabled People Described by Nursing Staff
Päivi Kankkunen*, Päivi Jänis, Katri Vehviläinen-Julkunen
Identifiers and Pagination:Year: 2010
First Page: 55
Last Page: 59
Publisher ID: TONURSJ-4-55
Article History:Received Date: 10/12/2009
Revision Received Date: 22/9/2010
Acceptance Date: 24/9/2010
Electronic publication date: 24/11/2010
Collection year: 2010
open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/) which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.
The purpose of this study was to describe pain assessment among non-communicating intellectually disabled people living in long term care described by nursing staff. The target group of the study consisted of the nursing staff working at seven mental retardation units in different parts of Finland. The data were collected during spring 2008 by a semi-structured questionnaire (Non-communicating Children’s Pain Checklist – Revised, N=222), and the response rate was 82% (n=181). The data were analyzed by statistical methods (Kruskall-Wallis test, Mann-Whitney U test) and by content analysis. The findings were described as parameters, frequencies, percentages, and as statistical significance.
The nursing staff considered their competence in identifying pain in non-communicating intellectually disabled people to be adequate, and they were of the opinion that enough attention is paid to pain. Almost all nursing staff assessed pain and the effect of treatment of pain on the basis of behavioural changes. Two thirds assessed the pain based on physiological changes. However, no pain assessment tools were used to assess pain and the effects of managing it. Two thirds of the staff considered the pain threshold to be high among non-communicating intellectually disabled people.
The findings of this study can be utilized in nursing practice and research, as well as in further education for pain assessment. Additional studies are needed to develop pain assessment to be more systematic among non-communicating intellectually disabled people.