The Impact of a Pain Educational Intervention on Nursing Students' Knowledge, Attitudes and Self-Efficacy Regarding Pain Management

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Aldossary, Eid
Pain , Nursing students , Pain education , Knowledge , Self-Efficacy
Poor pain management may result from nurses’ lack of knowledge, or personal beliefs or attitudes, which may be partially attributed to their undergraduate education. Recent studies report that nursing students have inadequate knowledge regarding effective pain management, which may be related to inadequate preparation in nursing school. Improving pain knowledge is an important step for nursing students to optimize effective pain management practices during their education and when in clinical practice. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine nursing students’ knowledge, attitudes, and self-efficacy in assessing and managing pain before and after participating in a pain educational intervention. This study included a convenience sample of 21 undergraduate nursing students who were in the second year of the 4-year Baccalaureate program at Queen’s University. Consenting students completed the Knowledge, and Attitudes Survey Regarding Pain (KASRP) and Nurses’ Self-Efficacy questionnaires prior to and after a pain educational intervention. The intervention consisted of a required textbook reading, a didactic learning and a self-directed online case study. The interactive online case study was developed by CASN and included information on pain assessment, substance misuse risk assessment, prescribing opioids, opioids tapering, and follow up and safety monitoring. In this study, the students median score on the KASRP significantly improved after the pain education (Md = 26) compared to that before the intervention (Md = 24) (z = -2.66, p < .001). The median score on the self-efficacy scale was significantly higher following the educational program (Md = 12) versus before (Md = 8) (z = -3.64, p < .001). Students had difficulty answering questions related to pain pharmacology most often. Knowledge and the self-efficacy were not significantly correlated (P = .305, P = .359) before and after the intervention. This didactic and online intervention was associated with an improvement in students’ knowledge, attitudes and self-efficacy regarding pain management. Further research is needed to test this intervention with a larger sample in other programs in Ontario and Canada. Additionally, this information may be useful for nurse leaders and educators when they are developing pain assessment and management education or when planning clinical opportunities for students to acquire appropriate pain knowledge and attitudes.
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