Pain in hospitalized children: Effect of a multidimensional knowledge translation strategy on pain process and clinical outcomes

Pain. 2014 Jan;155(1):60-68. doi: 10.1016/j.pain.2013.09.007. Epub 2013 Sep 8.


Hospitalized children frequently receive inadequate pain assessment and management despite substantial evidence to support effective pediatric pain practices. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of a multidimensional knowledge translation intervention, Evidence-based Practice for Improving Quality (EPIQ), on procedural pain practices and clinical outcomes for children hospitalized in medical, surgical and critical care units. A prospective cohort study compared 16 interventions using EPIQ and 16 standard care (SC) units in 8 Canadian pediatric hospitals. Chart reviews at baseline (time 1) and intervention completion (time 2) determined the nature and frequency of painful procedures and of pain assessment and pain management practices. Trained pain experts evaluated pain intensity 6 months post-intervention (time 3) during routine, scheduled painful procedures. Generalized estimating equation models compared changes in outcomes between EPIQ and SC units over time. EPIQ units used significantly more validated pain assessment tools (P<0.001) and had a greater proportion of patients who received analgesics (P=0.03) and physical pain management strategies (P=0.02). Mean pain intensity scores were significantly lower in the EPIQ group (P=0.03). Comparisons of moderate (4-6/10) and severe (7-10/10) pain, controlling for child and unit level factors, indicated that the odds of having severe pain were 51% less for children in the EPIQ group (adjusted OR: 0.49, 95% CI: 0.26-0.83; P=0.009). EPIQ was effective in improving practice and clinical outcomes for hospitalized children. Additional exploration of the influence of contextual factors on research use in hospital settings is required to explain the variability in pain processes and clinical outcomes.

Keywords: Intervention implementation; Knowledge translation; Pain assessment; Pain intensity; Pain management; Pediatric pain; Procedural pain; Quality improvement; Tailored intervention.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Canada
  • Child
  • Child, Hospitalized*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Pain / diagnosis*
  • Pain / epidemiology
  • Pain Management*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Sample Size
  • Time Factors
  • Translational Research, Biomedical*