Families' and children's postoperative pain--literature review

J Pediatr Nurs. 2004 Apr;19(2):133-9. doi: 10.1016/s0882-5963(03)00141-6.


The purpose of this study was to describe the findings of a literature review focusing on the viewpoint of family members in children's postoperative pain assessment and management. The study was based on empirical studies of families and children's postoperative pain published in 1991-2000. Eleven articles found in two databases (PubMed + Cinahl) were nonrandomly selected for an analysis. Qualitative deductive content analysis was used to investigate what is known about family members' views on children's postoperative pain based on empirical studies. The findings showed that families are a source of support for children in postoperative pain. However, parents have criticized pain-related instructions provided by the hospital staff. In addition, they have described difficulties in identifying and managing children's pain at home. Further research is needed to deepen our understanding on children's postoperative pain as a family experience. Family nursing theories could be used more in studies focusing on children's postoperative pain. More attention should be paid on parents' needs and on their counseling about children's pain in clinical pediatric nursing.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Caregivers*
  • Child
  • Child Behavior*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pain Measurement / nursing
  • Pain, Postoperative / diagnosis
  • Pain, Postoperative / nursing*
  • Pediatric Nursing / methods
  • Qualitative Research