Education about pain: a neglected area?

Nurse Educ Today. 2000 Apr;20(3):244-53. doi: 10.1054/nedt.1999.0412.


To test the hypothesis that educational deficits are in part responsible for the low priority given to pain management by nurses, a study was carried out to ascertain the pain content in the Common Foundation Programme (CFP) and the four branches of pre-registration diploma nursing courses in England. Questionnaires were sent to branch co-ordinators at all the institutions (n = 47) in England which provide the three year pre-registration nursing diploma courses. Results indicate that while child and adult branch programmes cover a wide breadth of topics in on average less than 10 hours. Learning disabilities branch and mental health branch programmes have minimal pain content. These results suggest that there is superficial coverage of the topic. There is need to re-evaluate the teaching of pain in pre-registration nursing courses if pain and its management are to be adequately covered prior to qualification. These results may also have implications for patient welfare and are discussed in this context.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child
  • Curriculum*
  • Education, Nursing, Baccalaureate / organization & administration*
  • England
  • Humans
  • Pain / nursing*
  • Pediatric Nursing / education*