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Knowledge and attitudes of Italian medical staff towards the approach and treatment of patients in pain

Knowledge and attitudes of Italian medical staff towards the approach and treatment of patients in pain

Journal of Pain and Symptom Management 22(5): 925-930

This study is part of the project, "Towards a Pain-Free Hospital," which aims at improving the approach and treatment of the patient in pain. The objective of the study was to evaluate the knowledge and attitudes of doctors and nurses on the wards of a 1000-bed general hospital located in a rather densely-populated, industrialized area of Italy regarding the following topics: attention paid to pain, the use of analgesic drugs, and pain in children. In total, 669 nurses and 225 doctors completed a 16-item questionnaire evaluating knowledge and beliefs about pain. The overall percentage of correct answers was 61% (9.7/16). The score varied among the different wards and ranged from 48% (7.8/16) to 76% (12.3/16). Physicians scored 65% and nurses 59% (p < 0.001). The percentage of correct answers varied widely among the different items (from 30% to 96%). From these results, we conclude that there are still significant knowledge deficits and erroneous beliefs that may hamper treatment of the patient in pain. These results will help in conducting educational programs aimed at improving pain treatment in the different departments of the hospital.

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Accession: 046508053

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PMID: 11728795

DOI: 10.1016/s0885-3924(01)00355-4

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