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A Journal on Anesthesiology, Resuscitation, Analgesia and Intensive Care
Minerva Anestesiologica 2008 April;74(4):113-8
Pain knowledge among doctors and nurses: a survey of 4 912 healthcare providers in Tuscany
Messeri A. 1, Scollo Abeti M. 1, Guidi G. 2, Simonetti M. 3
1 Pain Service, A. Meyer Children Hospital, Florence, Italy;
2 Tuscany Health Service, Florence, Italy; 3Tuscany Regional Health Agency, Florence, Italy
Background. The purpose of this investigation was to get an overview of the understanding of doctors and nurses on pain experienced by patients in the hospitals of Tuscany in order to plan education in the weakest areas.
Methods. A questionnaire was distributed to assess the knowledge of pain: it included 13 questions intended for 3631 nurses and 1281 doctors throughout all the hospitals and sanitary concerns in Tuscany. The total percentage of right answers corresponded to 70.2% with a variability among questions ranging between 30.5% and 95.6%.
Results. There is a statistically significant difference between the mean number of correct answers of doctors (9.57/13) and nurses (8.87/13). For doctors working in critical areas, the mean is statistically significant in comparison with other areas. For nurses, those working in the surgical and critical areas show a statistically significant difference in comparison to the nurses of the general practice and other areas.
Conclusion. The data show that general knowledge of patient pain is good (86.5%), but that great gaps exist in the field of opiates (51.4%). Thus, education should focus on this area, as well as on prejudices concerning pain reported from 50.9% of healthcare providers.