JBM  Vol.5 No.6 , June 2017
Nurses’ Knowledge and Attitudes towards Pain Management in Children Admitted in the Paediatric Department of Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital, Blantyre, Malawi
Abstract: Background: Inadequate pain management is a problem in hospitalized children. Objectives: To explore knowledge and attitudes of nurses in management of pain in children. Methods: A descriptive design using qualitative methods was used to conduct the study. 17 nurses with prior pain management training were interviewed using a semi-structured interview guide. Ethical approval was obtained from College of Medicine Research and Ethics Committee. Data were analysed using thematic content analysis. Results: Nurses had some knowledge of pain assessment methods, treatment and use of morphine. Gaps, however, existed on how to use pain assessment scales, analgesics to use at each step of the WHO analgesic ladder, and how to effectively use morphine for pain relief. Although most nurses had positive attitudes towards children’s pain and use of morphine, negative attitudes were evident in some nurses regarding administration of morphine to neonates or acutely ill children. Conclusion and Implications: The study has revealed knowledge and attitude gaps which may reflect deficiencies in the pain education nurses received, non-availability of pain scales and lack of support for nurses to link theory with practice. Nurse leaders are challenged to provide repeated comprehensive education for nurses on pain assessment and management. Furthermore, user friendly pain scales should be developed, and nurses educated and demonstrated on their use. In addition, opportunities for supportive supervision with nurses in the clinical setting should be created for linkage of theory and practice.
Cite this paper: Kholowa, E. , Chimwaza, A. , Majamanda, M. and Maluwa, A. (2017) Nurses’ Knowledge and Attitudes towards Pain Management in Children Admitted in the Paediatric Department of Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital, Blantyre, Malawi. Journal of Biosciences and Medicines, 5, 46-59. doi: 10.4236/jbm.2017.56005.

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