Nurses' knowledge about pharmacological and nonpharmacological pain management in children

J Pain Symptom Manage. 1999 Oct;18(4):289-99. doi: 10.1016/s0885-3924(99)00065-2.


The purpose of this study was to investigate the knowledge base and practices of Finnish nurses in the area of children in pain. The convenience sample consisted of 265 nurses working on children's wards in university hospitals. Data were collected using an instrument designed for the study. The results showed that there remain gaps in the knowledge base of nurses with regard to both pharmacological and nonpharmacological pain management in children. The education and the area of expertise were significant influences on knowledge scores. Nurses used a fairly wide range of nonpharmacological pain alleviation methods but most of these were such that the nurse was in an active role and the child was passive. There is a clear need for further education. Nurses should take a more active role in seeking new information and also should be encouraged to use nonpharmacological methods that let the children be active participants in their own care.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child
  • Data Collection
  • Female
  • Finland
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Nurses*
  • Pain / nursing*
  • Pain Management*