Lucy Seldon

1305 – Nurses use of non-pharmacological methods to relieve children’s pain post-operatively: A pilot study

The purpose of this presentation is to present the findings of a small study that has been conducted regarding registered nurses non-pharmacological pain management for post-operative paediatric patients and how this could have implications in the transformation of practice in this area of nursing.

Non-pharmacological methods of pain management are reported to be effective in alleviating pain experienced by paediatric patients. The research question for this small pilot study was: Do New Zealand registered nurses use non-pharmacological methods of post-operative pain management for paediatric surgical patients, and if so, to what extent? An international questionnaire was adapted for the New Zealand context and distributed to registered nurses working in one paediatric surgical ward. Sixteen nurses participated.

The results showed that participants were using a variety of non-pharmacological methods which correlates with international literature. Examples of methods used included: distraction, positive reinforcement, therapeutic touch and comforting/reassurance. This suggests that participating nurses are well informed about non-pharmacological approaches for post-operative pain management.

This small study suggests that non-pharmacological methods are often utilised by nurses to alleviate post-operative pain for paediatric patients. Replicating this study on a nationwide scale would provide more detailed information about New Zealand nurses’ utilisation of non-pharmacological methods of pain management and could help transform current pain management practice.

Key words: Non-pharmacological methods; pain management; nursing; paediatric; child.