Barriers and Facilitators to Effective Pain Management by Parents After Pediatric Outpatient Surgery

J Pediatr Health Care. 2020 Nov-Dec;34(6):560-567. doi: 10.1016/j.pedhc.2020.06.008. Epub 2020 Aug 29.


Introduction: The purpose of this study was to describe the experience of postoperative pain management from the perspectives of parents and identify areas for improvement.

Method: Forty parents or legal guardians of children aged 5-18 years who underwent outpatient surgery at BC Children's Hospital were recruited. Qualitative semistructured interviews were conducted to explore participants' experiences with the discharge instructions and at-home pain management.

Results: Overall, participants reported positive experiences with pain management. Facilitators in pain management communication included the combination of verbal and written instructions. Barriers to effective pain management included discrepancies in the information provided by different health care professionals and the experience of stress at the time of pain management communication.

Discussion: The exploration of parent narratives highlighted the need for detailed information resources and patient-centered care surrounding pain management. The practical recommendations identified will inform future research and improve the quality of care for pediatric pain.

Keywords: Pediatric surgery; communication; pain; pain management.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Ambulatory Surgical Procedures*
  • Child
  • Health Personnel
  • Humans
  • Pain Management*
  • Pain, Postoperative / therapy*
  • Parents*
  • Qualitative Research