Patient-controlled oral analgesia for acute abdominal pain: A before-and-after intervention study on pain intensity and use of analgesics

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Abstract

Aim: To compare the use of patient-controlled oral analgesia with nurse-controlled analgesia for patients admitted to hospital with acute abdominal pain. The primary outcome measure was pain intensity. The secondary outcome measures were the use of analgesics and antiemetics. Background: Inadequate pain management of patients with acute abdominal pain can occur during hospital admission. Unrelieved acute pain can result in chronic pain, stroke, bleeding and myocardial ischemia. Methods: A before-and-after intervention study was conducted in an emergency department and a surgical department with three subunits. Data were collected from medical charts and analyzed using chi-squared and Kruskal–Wallis tests. Results: A total of 170 patients were included. The median pain intensity score, using the numeric ranking scale, was 2.5 and 2 on Day 2 (p = 0.10), 2 and 2 on Day 3 (p = 0,40), 2.5 and 0 on Day 4 (p = 0.10), 2 and 0 on Day 5 (p = 0.045) in the control and intervention group, respectively. The percentage of patients receiving analgesics was 93 and 86 on Day 2 (p = 0.20), 91 and 75 on Day 3 (p = 0.02), 89 and 67 on Day 4 (p = 0.009) and 80 and 63 on Day 5 (p = 0.39). The use of antiemetics was similar in the two groups. Conclusion: Patient-controlled oral analgesia significantly reduced the numerical ranking pain scale score on Day 5 and the consumption of analgesics on Days 3 and 4 after hospital admission. Patient-controlled oral analgesia is feasible as pain management for patients, but only with minor impact on experienced pain intensity and use of analgesics.

Original languageEnglish
JournalApplied Nursing Research
Volume40
Pages (from-to)110-115
ISSN0897-1897
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2018

Keywords

  • Acute pain
  • Pain management
  • Patient involvement
  • Patient-centered care
  • Self-administered medication

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