Date of Award

Spring 2009

Document Type





Presently, postoperative pain remains inadequately assessed and poorly managed both of which can have a profound impact on the individual's physiological and psychological state, possibly resulting in severe complications or death. The purpose of this research was to identify the knowledge and attitudes of senior nursing students related to postoperative pain and to determine the effectiveness of an educational intervention focused on pain management. The sample consisted of 31 senior nursing students enrolled in a baccalaureate program at a Liberal Arts college in the Northwest, one male and 30 female, ranging in age from 21-49. Data collection took place in the classroom setting. McCaffery and Ferrell’s Knowledge and Attitudes Regarding Pain tool was administered before and after the educational intervention. Education about pain assessment and pain management was presented immediately after the pre-test using a power point containing information from current continuing education directly related to the questionnaire. The average score after the educational intervention was 70.2% on the post-test compared to 65.6% on the pre-test. Overall, an increase in scores was present in the responses to 24 of the 40 questions after the educational intervention, while 7 of the 40 remained the same. The remaining nine questions showed a decrease in the number of correct responses. The findings this research indicate that education related to pain management can enhance knowledge of nursing students as well as practicing nurses and should be continually offered to be fully effective.

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