Variables associated with parent satisfaction with their child's pain management

Emerg Med Australas. 2016 Feb;28(1):39-43. doi: 10.1111/1742-6723.12519. Epub 2015 Dec 20.


Objective: The provision of 'adequate analgesia' (which reduces the pain score by ≥2 and to <4 [0-10 scale]) is significantly associated with high levels of satisfaction with pain management among adult patients. We aimed to determine the variables (including 'adequate analgesia') associated with parent satisfaction with their child's pain management.

Methods: We undertook an observational, pilot study in a mixed, metropolitan ED. Patients aged 4-16 years with a triage pain score of ≥4 were enrolled. Data included demographics, presenting complaint, pain scores every 30 min, analgesia administered, time to first analgesia, provision of nurse-initiated analgesia (NIA), and 'adequate analgesia', and parent satisfaction 48-h post-discharge (6 point scale: very unsatisfied - very satisfied).

Results: Complete data were collected on 185 patients: mean (SD) age 10.4 (3.6) years, weight 41.9 (17.8) kg; 93 (50.3%) were male. One hundred and ten (59.4%) parents were very satisfied with their child's pain management. Children of very satisfied parents had shorter times to analgesia than those who did not (median [interquartile range] 14 (33) vs 33 (46) min, respectively, P = 0.003). Parents whose children received NIA or 'adequate analgesia' were more often very satisfied than those whose children did not. However, the differences were not significant (difference in proportions: 13.2% [95% CI -1.9, 28.3], P = 0.07 and 10.2% [95% CI -5.02, 25.34], P = 0.16, respectively).

Conclusion: Short times to analgesia are associated with parent satisfaction. There were non-significant trends towards high levels of satisfaction following the provision of NIA and 'adequate analgesia'. These findings will inform a well-powered study to confirm this association.

Keywords: analgesia; children; emergency department; paediatrics; pain; satisfaction.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Analgesia / methods
  • Analgesia / statistics & numerical data
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pain Management / psychology*
  • Pain Management / statistics & numerical data
  • Pain Measurement
  • Parents / psychology*
  • Patient Satisfaction / statistics & numerical data*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Time Factors