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Effects of a continuing education program on nurses' pain assessment practices

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      Abstract

      Surgical nurses from five Dutch general hospitals participated in a continuing education program on pain assessment and management. A pretest-posttest controlled intervention study revealed theat the program led to an increase in the quality of activities relevant to taking pain histories. Although this increase in quality was most apparent 1 month after the program, it was still observable 6 months after the program. There were, however, no effects on the number of activities relevant to taking pain histories, or on the number of nurses who used direct questioning as a method to determine pain. There may be several explanations for these results, including nurses' limited openness to new approaches, a lack of support from physicians and nurse superiors, and that program items were not translated into ward policy.

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