Pain Management Perceptions of the Neonatal Nurses in NICUs and Neonatal Units in Ardebil, Iran

Document Type: Original Article


1 Ph.D Candidate, Department of Nursing, International Branch of Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran Pediatrician, Ayatolla Khatam Hospital, Yazd, Iran

2 Ph.D, Department of Nursing, School of Nursing & Midwifery, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

3 M.D, Department of Neonatology, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran

4 M.D, Department of Anesthesiology Research Center, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

5 M.D, Department of Neonatology, Ardebil University of Medical Sciences, Ardebil, Iran


Background: This study aimed to determine neonatal nurses’ perceptions of knowledge and practice in pain management in NICUs & neonatal units.
Methods: A cross-sectional descriptive study design was used. A total of 120 neonatal nurses who working in NICUs & neonatal units in Ardebil province, Iran were selected using the convenience sampling technique. A questionnaire of Nurses’ Perceptions of Neonatal Pain (Cong, 2013), including 36 questions with Likert scale and 2 open ended questions, was used. Data collected were analyzed with descriptive statistics of frequencies and percentages.
Results: Nurses had Appropriate knowledge of neonatal pain management , but less than 50% felt that they received adequate training and continuing education on pain. Participants reported that they don’t use of pain assessment tools (65%). Less than half felt that the pain tool used in their unit was an accurate measure (44.2%). Fewer than half reported that pain was well managed (28.3%) , that their pain protocols were research evidence based (34.2%) and more than half reported that parents should be involve with the care and comfort of their infant during painful procedures (71.6%). Barriers to effective pain management emerged as high workload, shortage of personnel, lack of knowledge, absence of pain protocols, lack of time, and lack of trust in the pain assessment tools.
Conclusions: proper pain management was significantly correlated with adequate training, use of proper and accurate pain tools, and clear and research-based protocols and parental involvement. It can be improved by developing guidelines and support of nurses, develop of clinically feasible pain tools, adequate training and proper supervision.


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