Nurses’ Knowledge and Attitudes about Adult Post-operative Pain Assessment and Management: A Cross-Sectional Study in Qatar
Background: Pain has been described by clinicians, patients, and researchers alike as a complex and challenging phenomenon. People have different experiences of pain. Nurses' negative attitudes and lack of knowledge are major impediments to effective pain management. Methods: The study was a cross-sectional online survey using a validated self-administered questionnaire for post-operative registered nurses working in Hamad Medical Corporation in Qatar. The dependent outcome was the score on the Knowledge and Attitudes Survey Regarding Pain. Results: A total of 151 post-operative nurses participated in the study. The mean knowledge and attitudes (K&A) score was 19.6 (SD 4.5) out of 41 (48%), indicating a huge deficit in the nurses' knowledge and attitudes about adult post-operative pain. No sociodemographic variables were associated with K&A scores. Neither the facility the nurses worked at nor hours of previous pain education were associated with K&A scores. Conclusions: There is a significant deficit in post-operative nurses' knowledge and attitudes about pain in Hamad Medical Corporation, with no significant differences based on demographics or other characteristics. This suggests the deficit is widespread within the nursing workforce in Qatar. This deficit is potentially impacting significantly on pain assessment and management for adults in post-operative settings. Pragmatic research on evidence-based nursing educational courses focused on pain assessment and management is required to enhance nurses' knowledge and attitudes and improve patient care. Key messages: Strategies to strengthen nurses' knowledge and attitudes toward pain in Qatar must be developed and tested.