J Caring Sci. 2020;9(3): 125-132.
doi: 10.34172/jcs.2020.019
PMID: 32963980
PMCID: PMC7492966
  Abstract View: 179
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Original Article

Experience of Registered Nurses of Postoperative Pain Assessment Using Objective Measures among Children at Effia Nkwanta Regional Hospital in Ghana

Sylvia Oger Ofosu Dwamena 1* ORCID logo, Andrews Adjei Druye 2 ORCID logo, Evelyn Asamoah Ampofo 3 ORCID logo

1 Department of Nursing, Nursing and Midwifery Training College, Sekondi, Ghana
2 Department of Adult Health, School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana
3 Department of Midwifery, School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana


Introduction: People undergoing surgical operations experience some level of pain. Assessing pain intensity is one of the duties of the nurse and it involves subjective measures (self-report), and objective measures (behavioural and physiological). It has been observed by the researcher that nurses in clinical practice do not assess pain before management more so among children. Also, there is limited research in the area of pain assessment in children who cannot communicate. This study aimed to describe the experiences of registered nurses in assessing postoperative pain among children (0- 3years) using objective measures.

Methods: Descriptive phenomenology was the chosen design. Maximum variation sampling was used to recruit nine registered nurses with experience in nursing children after surgery at Effia Nkwanta Regional Hospital (ENRH) in Ghana. The researchers conducted audio-recorded in-depth interviews, transcribed verbatim and qualitatively analyzed following Colaizzi’s approach to descriptive phenomenology analysis.

Results: The study revealed that the nurses have more experience with using behavioural measures with limited experience with the use of physiological measures. The behavioural measures mostly reported from their experience were changes in facial expression and unusual crying of the child. In general, the nurses do not formally use consistent approaches to assess pain among children.

Conclusion: Given these results, opportunities should be made available for nurses to enhance their skills and utilize evidence-based approaches to formally assess pain among post-operative children.

Keywords: Child, Phenomenology, Pain, Postoperative, Nurses
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Submitted: 03 Mar 2020
Revision: 13 May 2020
Accepted: 08 Jun 2020
ePublished: 18 Aug 2020
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