Despite extensive research, institutional policies, and practice guidelines, procedural pain remains undertreated in hospitalized children. Knowledge translation (KT) strategies have been employed to bridge the research to practice gap with varying success. The most effective single or combination of KT strategies has not been found. A multifaceted KT intervention, Evidence-based Practice for Improving Quality (EPIQ), that included tailored KT strategies was effective in improving pain practices and clinical outcomes at the unit level in a prospective comparative cohort study in 32 hospital units (16 EPIQ intervention and 16 Standard Care), in eight pediatric hospitals in Canada.
In a study of the 16 EPIQ units (two at each hospital) only, the objectives were to: determine the effectiveness of evidence-based KT strategies implemented to achieve unit aims; describe the KT strategies implemented and their influence on pain assessment and management across unit types; and identify facilitators and barriers to their implementation.
Data were collected from each EPIQ intervention unit on targeted pain practices and KT strategies implemented, through chart review and a process evaluation checklist, following four intervention cycles over a 15-month period.
Following the completion of the four cycle intervention, 78% of 23 targeted pain practice aims across units were achieved within 80% of the stated aims. A statistically significant improvement was found in the proportion of children receiving pain assessment and management, regardless of pre-determined aims (p < 0.001). The median number of KT strategies implemented was 35 and included reminders, educational outreach and materials, and audit and feedback. Units successful in achieving their aims implemented more KT strategies than units that did not. No specific type of single or combination of KT strategies was more effective in improving pain assessment and management outcomes. Tailoring KT strategies to unit context, support from unit leadership, staff engagement, and dedicated time and resources were identified as facilitating effective implementation of the strategies.
Further research is required to better understand implementation outcomes, such as feasibility and fidelity, how context influences the effectiveness of multifaceted KT strategies, and the sustainability of improved pain practices and outcomes over time.
Pediatric procedural pain; Knowledge translation strategies; Tailored interventions; Quality improvement
Chronic pain negatively affects an adolescent’s life; however, little is known about the social impact of chronic pain for adolescents. More is known about the general peer relationships of adolescents with chronic pain than their close friendships. Close friendships begin to take on more importance during adolescence as these relationships facilitate the development of an adolescent’s sense of personal identity and increasing independence from family influences. Thus, chronic pain may create friendship challenges for adolescents beyond those typically experienced during this developmental trajectory, which may negatively impact their abilities to secure social support.
To better understand the challenges adolescents with chronic pain face with regard to their friendships.
An interpretative phenomenological study using individual interviews was conducted.
Two themes emerged. ‘Rethinking the self with pain’ describes the intrusive nature of chronic pain, challenging the participants to rethink the way they view themselves and their place within their social network. ‘Rethinking friendships’ describes the interpretation of their friends’ reactions to their chronic pain condition, which led to these adolescents spending more time by themselves, and feeling misunderstood and unsupported.
The impact of chronic pain on the adolescent as an individual as well as the responses of close friends and others within their social network resulted in the development of new friendship needs. However, the adolescents were not always able to secure these new friendship needs. Their experiences suggest factors within friendships that may be ameliorated by interventions, thus maintaining and strengthening their close friendships.
Adolescents/youth; Chronic pain; Interpretative methods; Social development; Social support
Although documentation of children’s pain by health care professionals is frequently undertaken, few studies have explored the nature of the language used to describe pain in the medical records of hospitalized children.
To describe health care professionals’ use of written language related to the quality and quantity of pain experienced by hospitalized children.
Free-text pain narratives documented during a 24 h period were collected from the medical records of 3822 children (0 to 18 years of age) hospitalized on 32 inpatient units in eight Canadian pediatric hospitals. A qualitative descriptive exploration using a content analysis approach was used.
Pain narratives were documented a total of 5390 times in 1518 of the 3822 children’s medical records (40%). Overall, word choices represented objective and subjective descriptors. Two major categories were identified, with their respective subcategories of word indicators and associated cues: indicators of pain, including behavioural (eg, vocal, motor, facial and activities cues), affective and physiological cues, and children’s descriptors; and word qualifiers, including intensity, comparator and temporal qualifiers.
The richness and complexity of vocabulary used by clinicians to document children’s pain lend support to the concept that the word ‘pain’ is a label that represents a myriad of different experiences. There is potential to refine pediatric pain assessment measures to be inclusive of other cues used to identify children’s pain. The results enhance the discussion concerning the development of standardized nomenclature. Further research is warranted to determine whether there is congruence in interpretation across time, place and individuals.
Children; Documentation; Intensity; Narratives; Pain; Words
Although clinical narratives – described as free-text notations – have been noted to be a source of patient information, no studies have examined the composition of pain narratives in hospitalized children’s medical records.
To describe the structure and content of health care professionals’ narratives related to hospitalized children’s acute pain.
All pain narratives documented during a 24 h period were collected from the medical records of 3822 children (0 to 18 years of age) hospitalized in 32 inpatient units in eight Canadian pediatric hospitals. A qualitative descriptive exploration using a content analysis approach was performed.
Three major structural elements with their respective categories and subcategories were identified: information sources, including clinician, patient, parent, dual and unknown; compositional archetypes, including baseline pain status, intermittent pain updates, single events, pain summation and pain management plan; and content, including pain declaration, pain assessment, pain intervention and multidimensional elements of care.
The present qualitative analysis revealed the multidimensionality of structure and content that was used to document hospitalized children’s acute pain. The findings have the potential to inform debate on whether the multidimensionality of pain narratives’ composition is a desirable feature of documentation and how narratives can be refined and improved. There is potential for further investigation into how health care professionals’ pain narratives could have a role in generating guidelines for best pain documentation practice beyond numerical representations of pain intensity.
Children; Documentation; Free-text; Notation; Narratives; Pain
The Pain in Child Health (PICH) consortium is a Strategic Training Initiative in Health Research funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. The PICH represents a community of interdisciplinary researchers whose goal is to support the education of highly qualified personnel and to promote research on the prevention and relief of pediatric pain. The authors of this article report on the success of the PICH since its inception in 2002.
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES:
Pain in Child Health (PICH) is a transdisciplinary, international research training consortium. PICH has been funded since 2002 as a Strategic Training Initiative in Health Research of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, with contributions from other funding partners and the founding participation of five Canadian universities. The goal of PICH has been to create a community of scholars in pediatric pain to improve child health outcomes.
Quantitative analyses enumerated PICH faculty, trainees, training activities and scientific outputs. Interviews with PICH stakeholders were analyzed using qualitative methods capturing perceptions of the program’s strengths, limitations, and opportunities for development and sustainability.
PICH has supported 218 trainee members from 2002 through 2013, from 14 countries and more than 16 disciplines. The faculty at the end of 2013 comprised nine co-principal investigators, 14 Canadian coinvestigators, and 28 Canadian and international collaborators. Trainee members published 697 peer-reviewed journal articles on pediatric pain through 2013, among other research dissemination activities including conference presentations and webinars. Networks have been established between new and established researchers across Canada and in 13 other countries. Perceptions from stakeholders commended PICH for its positive impact on the development of pediatric pain researchers. Stakeholders emphasized skills and abilities gained through PICH, the perceived impact of PICH training on this research field, and considerations for future training in developing researchers in pediatric pain.
PICH has been successfully developing highly qualified health research personnel within a Canadian and international community of pediatric pain scholarship.
Interdisciplinary; International; Pediatric pain; Research; Training; Transdiscliplinary
Refractory angina is a severe chronic disease, defined as angina which cannot be controlled by usual treatments for heart disease. This disease is frightening, debilitating, and difficult to manage. Many people suffering refractory have inadequate pain relief, continually revisit emergency departments for help, undergo repeated cardiac investigations, and struggle with obtaining appropriate care. There is no clear framework to help people understand the risks and benefits of available treatment options in Canada. Some treatments for refractory angina are invasive, while others are not covered by provincial health insurance plans. Effective care for refractory angina sufferers in Canada is critically underdeveloped; it is important that healthcare professionals and refractory angina sufferers alike understand the treatment options and their implications. This proposal builds on the recent Canadian practice guidelines for the management of refractory angina. We propose to develop a decision support tool in order to help people suffering from refractory angina make well-informed decisions about their healthcare and reduce their uncertainty about treatment options.
This project will be conducted in three phases: a) development of the support tool with input from clinical experts, the Canadian refractory angina guidelines, and people living with refractory angina, b) pilot testing of the usability of the tool, and c) formal preliminary evaluation of the effectiveness of the support tool to help people make informed decisions about treatment options.
A decision support tool for refractory angina is needed and the available data suggest that by developing such a tool, we may be able to help refractory angina sufferers better understand their condition and the effectiveness of available treatment options (in their respective clinical settings) as well as their implications (e.g. risks vs. benefits). By virtue of this tool, we may also be able to facilitate identification and inclusion of patients’ values and preferences in the decision making process. This is particularly important as refractory angina is an intractable condition, necessitating that the selected course of treatment be lifelong. This study will yield a much needed patient decision aid for people living with refractory angina and pilot data to support a subsequent effectiveness study.
Patient decision aid; Refractory angina; Pilot study; Study protocol
Sucrose has been demonstrated to provide analgesia for minor painful procedures in infants. However, results of trials investigating other sweet solutions for neonatal pain relief have not yet been synthesized.
To establish the efficacy of nonsucrose sweet-tasting solutions for pain relief during painful procedures in neonates.
The present article is a systematic review and meta-analyses of the literature. Standard methods of the Cochrane Neonatal Collaborative Review Group were used. Literature searches were reviewed for randomized controlled trials investigating the use of sweet solutions, except sucrose, for procedural pain management in neonates. Outcomes assessed included validated pain measures and behavioural and physiological indicators.
Thirty-eight studies (3785 neonates) were included, 35 of which investigated glucose. Heel lancing was performed in 21/38 studies and venipuncture in 11/38 studies. A 3.6-point reduction in Premature Infant Pain Profile scores during heel lances was observed in studies comparing 20% to 30% glucose with no intervention (two studies, 124 neonates; mean difference −3.6 [95% CI −4.6 to −2.6]; P<0.001; I2=54%). A significant reduction in the incidence of cry after venipuncture for infants receiving 25% to 30% glucose versus water or no intervention was observed (three studies, 130 infants; risk difference −0.18 [95% CI −0.31 to −0.05]; P=0.008, number needed to treat = 6 [95% CI 3 to 20]; I2=63%).
The present systematic review and meta-analyses demonstrate that glucose reduces pain scores and crying during single heel lances and venipunctures. Results indicate that 20% to 30% glucose solutions have analgesic effects and can be recommended as an alternative to sucrose for procedural pain reduction in healthy term and preterm neonates.
Analgesia; Glucose; Infant; Neonate; Pain; Sweet-tasting solution
Pain that occurs both within and outside of the hospital setting is a common and distressing problem for adolescents with cancer. The use of smartphone technology may facilitate rapid, in-the-moment pain support for this population. To ensure the best possible pain management advice is given, evidence-based and expert-vetted care algorithms and system design features, which are designed using user-centered methods, are required.
To develop the decision algorithm and system requirements that will inform the pain management advice provided by a real-time smartphone-based pain management app for adolescents with cancer.
A systematic approach to algorithm development and system design was utilized. Initially, a comprehensive literature review was undertaken to understand the current body of knowledge pertaining to pediatric cancer pain management. A user-centered approach to development was used as the results of the review were disseminated to 15 international experts (clinicians, scientists, and a consumer) in pediatric pain, pediatric oncology and mHealth design, who participated in a 2-day consensus conference. This conference used nominal group technique to develop consensus on important pain inputs, pain management advice, and system design requirements. Using data generated at the conference, a prototype algorithm was developed. Iterative qualitative testing was conducted with adolescents with cancer, as well as pediatric oncology and pain health care providers to vet and refine the developed algorithm and system requirements for the real-time smartphone app.
The systematic literature review established the current state of research related to nonpharmacological pediatric cancer pain management. The 2-day consensus conference established which clinically important pain inputs by adolescents would require action (pain management advice) from the app, the appropriate advice the app should provide to adolescents in pain, and the functional requirements of the app. These results were used to build a detailed prototype algorithm capable of providing adolescents with pain management support based on their individual pain. Analysis of qualitative interviews with 9 multidisciplinary health care professionals and 10 adolescents resulted in 4 themes that helped to adapt the algorithm and requirements to the needs of adolescents. Specifically, themes were overall endorsement of the system, the need for a clinical expert, the need to individualize the system, and changes to the algorithm to improve potential clinical effectiveness.
This study used a phased and user-centered approach to develop a pain management algorithm for adolescents with cancer and the system requirements of an associated app. The smartphone software is currently being created and subsequent work will focus on the usability, feasibility, and effectiveness testing of the app for adolescents with cancer pain.
adolescent; pain; neoplasms; cellular phone; algorithms
Organizational context is recognized as an important influence on the successful implementation of research by healthcare professionals. However, there is relatively little empirical evidence to support this widely held view.
The objective of this study was to identify dimensions of organizational context and individual (nurse) characteristics that influence pediatric nurses’ self-reported use of research. Data on research use, individual, and contextual variables were collected from registered nurses (N = 735) working on 32 medical, surgical and critical care units in eight Canadian pediatric hospitals using an online survey. We used Generalized Estimating Equation modeling to account for the correlated structure of the data and to identify which contextual dimensions and individual characteristics predict two kinds of self-reported research use: instrumental (direct) and conceptual (indirect).
Significant predictors of instrumental research use included: at the individual level; belief suspension-implement, research use in the past, and at the hospital unit (context) level; culture, and the proportion on nurses possessing a baccalaureate degree or higher. Significant predictors of conceptual research use included: at the individual nurse level; belief suspension-implement, problem solving ability, use of research in the past, and at the hospital unit (context) level; leadership, culture, evaluation, formal interactions, informal interactions, organizational slack-space, and unit specialty.
Hospitals, by focusing attention on modifiable elements of unit context may positively influence nurses’ reported use of research. This influence of context may extend to the adoption of best practices in general and other innovative or quality interventions.
Several factors accounted for the initial explanations of common infant pain outcomes espoused during the 1950s to 1970s. However, recent research evidence has supported the anatomical and functional capacity of infants to perceive and respond to insults interpretable as pain. Although acute pain and distress during medical procedures are commonplace for young children, they remain undermanaged or unmanaged. The exhaustive version of this abridged review was prompted by the absence of comprehensive meta-analyses and significant gaps in the literature pertaining to the broad range of nonpharmacological interventions for managing acute pain and distress in young children from zero to three years of age. These types of analyses are essential for the development of management strategies to mitigate distress in young children undergoing acutely painful procedures.
Acute pain and distress during medical procedures are commonplace for young children.
To assess the efficacy of nonpharmacological interventions for acute procedural pain in children up to three years of age.
Study inclusion criteria were: participants <3 years of age, involved in a randomized controlled or crossover trial, and use of a ‘no-treatment’ control group (51 studies; n=3396). Additional studies meeting all criteria except for study design (eg, use of active control group) were qualitatively described (n=20).
For every intervention, data were analyzed separately according to age group (preterm-born, term-born neonate and older infant/young child) and type of pain response (pain reactivity, immediate pain-related regulation). The largest standardized mean differences (SMD) for pain reactivity were as follows: sucking-related interventions (preterm: −0.42 [95% CI −0.68 to −0.15]; neonate −1.45 [CI −2.34 to −0.57]), kangaroo care (preterm −1.12 [95% CI −2.04 to −0.21]), and swaddling/facilitated tucking (preterm −0.97 [95% CI −1.63 to −0.31]). For immediate pain-related regulation, the largest SMDs were: sucking-related interventions (preterm −0.38 [95% CI −0.59 to −0.17]; neonate −0.90 [CI −1.54 to −0.25]), kangaroo care 0.77 (95% CI −1.50 to −0.03]), swaddling/facilitated tucking (preterm −0.75 [95% CI −1.14 to −0.36]), and rocking/holding (neonate −0.75 [95% CI −1.20 to −0.30]). The presence of significant heterogeneity limited confidence in nonsignificant findings for certain other analyses.
Although a number of nonpharmacological treatments have sufficient evidence supporting their efficacy with preterm infants and healthy neonates, no treatments had sufficient evidence to support efficacy with healthy older infants/young children.
Acute pain; Caregiver; Infant; Pain management
There are few validated measures of organizational context and none that we located are parsimonious and address modifiable characteristics of context. The Alberta Context Tool (ACT) was developed to meet this need. The instrument assesses 8 dimensions of context, which comprise 10 concepts. The purpose of this paper is to report evidence to further the validity argument for ACT. The specific objectives of this paper are to: (1) examine the extent to which the 10 ACT concepts discriminate between patient care units and (2) identify variables that significantly contribute to between-unit variation for each of the 10 concepts.
859 professional nurses (844 valid responses) working in medical, surgical and critical care units of 8 Canadian pediatric hospitals completed the ACT. A random intercept, fixed effects hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) strategy was used to quantify and explain variance in the 10 ACT concepts to establish the ACT's ability to discriminate between units. We ran 40 models (a series of 4 models for each of the 10 concepts) in which we systematically assessed the unique contribution (i.e., error variance reduction) of different variables to between-unit variation. First, we constructed a null model in which we quantified the variance overall, in each of the concepts. Then we controlled for the contribution of individual level variables (Model 1). In Model 2, we assessed the contribution of practice specialty (medical, surgical, critical care) to variation since it was central to construction of the sampling frame for the study. Finally, we assessed the contribution of additional unit level variables (Model 3).
The null model (unadjusted baseline HLM model) established that there was significant variation between units in each of the 10 ACT concepts (i.e., discrimination between units). When we controlled for individual characteristics, significant variation in the 10 concepts remained. Assessment of the contribution of specialty to between-unit variation enabled us to explain more variance (1.19% to 16.73%) in 6 of the 10 ACT concepts. Finally, when we assessed the unique contribution of the unit level variables available to us, we were able to explain additional variance (15.91% to 73.25%) in 7 of the 10 ACT concepts.
The findings reported here represent the third published argument for validity of the ACT and adds to the evidence supporting its use to discriminate patient care units by all 10 contextual factors. We found evidence of relationships between a variety of individual and unit-level variables that explained much of this between-unit variation for each of the 10 ACT concepts. Future research will include examination of the relationships between the ACT's contextual factors and research utilization by nurses and ultimately the relationships between context, research utilization, and outcomes for patients.
The aim of the current exploratory study was to examine the relationships between maternal relationship style, paediatric health care use and infant health variables in a sample of middle-class and ethnically diverse mother-infant dyads.
An initial cross-sectional cohort study obtained demographic and self-report data on mothers’ relationship styles. As an extension of the original study, infants’ patient files were reviewed for the year following initial recruitment to obtain data regarding the use of paediatric health care services and infant health. The final sample included 64 mothers and their infants.
Correlational analyses revealed that mothers’ higher endorsement of a dismissive relationship style were associated with fewer acute care visits and fewer reported infant illnesses.
Compared with other relationship styles, mothers who highly endorsed a dismissive relationship style tended to use fewer acute paediatric health care services and reported fewer infant health problems. However, further longitudinal research is needed to clarify these relationships.
Infant welfare; Maternal relationship style; Paediatric health care use
Children being cared for in hospital undergo multiple painful procedures daily. However, little is known about the frequency of these procedures and associated interventions to manage the pain. We undertook this study to determine, for children in Canadian hospitals, the frequency of painful procedures, the types of pain management interventions associated with painful procedures and the influence of the type of hospital unit on procedural pain management.
We reviewed medical charts for infants and children up to 18 years of age who had been admitted to 32 inpatient units at eight Canadian pediatric hospitals between October 2007 and April 2008. We recorded all of the painful procedures performed and the pain management interventions that had been implemented in the 24-hour period preceding data collection. We performed descriptive and comparative (analysis of variance, χ2) analyses.
Of the 3822 children included in the study, 2987 (78.2%) had undergone at least one painful procedure in the 24-hour period preceding data collection, for a total of 18 929 painful procedures (mean 6.3 per child who had any painful procedure). For 2334 (78.1%) of the 2987 children who had a painful procedure, a pain management intervention in the previous 24 hours was documented in the chart: 1980 (84.8%) had a pharmacologic intervention, 609 (26.1%) a physical intervention, 584 (25.0%) a psychologic intervention and 753 (32.3%) a combination of interventions. However, for only 844 (28.3%) of the 2987 children was one or more pain management interventions administered and documented specifically for a painful procedure. Pediatric intensive care units reported the highest proportion of painful procedures and analgesics administered.
For less than one-third of painful procedures was there documentation of one or more specific pain management interventions. Strategies for implementing changes in pain management must be tailored to the type of hospital unit.
Appreciative inquiry (AI) is an innovative knowledge translation (KT) intervention that is compatible with the Promoting Action on Research in Health Services (PARiHS) framework. This study explored the innovative use of AI as a theoretically based KT intervention applied to a clinical issue in an inpatient pediatric care setting. The implementation of AI was explored in terms of its acceptability, fidelity, and feasibility as a KT intervention in pain management.
A mixed-methods case study design was used. The case was a surgical unit in a pediatric academic-affiliated hospital. The sample consisted of nurses in leadership positions and staff nurses interested in the study. Data on the AI intervention implementation were collected by digitally recording the AI sessions, maintaining logs, and conducting individual semistructured interviews. Data were analysed using qualitative and quantitative content analyses and descriptive statistics. Findings were triangulated in the discussion.
Three nurse leaders and nine staff members participated in the study. Participants were generally satisfied with the intervention, which consisted of four 3-hour, interactive AI sessions delivered over two weeks to promote change based on positive examples of pain management in the unit and staff implementation of an action plan. The AI sessions were delivered with high fidelity and 11 of 12 participants attended all four sessions, where they developed an action plan to enhance evidence-based pain assessment documentation. Participants labeled AI a 'refreshing approach to change' because it was positive, democratic, and built on existing practices. Several barriers affected their implementation of the action plan, including a context of change overload, logistics, busyness, and a lack of organised follow-up.
Results of this case study supported the acceptability, fidelity, and feasibility of AI as a KT intervention in pain management. The AI intervention requires minor refinements (e.g., incorporating continued follow-up meetings) to enhance its clinical utility and sustainability. The implementation process and effectiveness of the modified AI intervention require evaluation in a larger multisite study.
We developed and tested a new method, called the Evidence-based Practice for Improving Quality method, for continuous quality improvement.
We used cluster randomization to assign 6 neonatal intensive care units (ICUs) to reduce nosocomial infection (infection group) and 6 ICUs to reduce bronchopulmonary dysplasia (pulmonary group). We included all infants born at 32 or fewer weeks gestation. We collected baseline data for 1 year. Practice change interventions were implemented using rapid-change cycles for 2 years.
The difference in incidence trends (slopes of trend lines) between the ICUs in the infection and pulmonary groups was − 0.0020 (95% confidence interval [CI] − 0.0007 to 0.0004) for nosocomial infection and − 0.0006 (95% CI − 0.0011 to − 0.0001) for bronchopulmonary dysplasia.
The results suggest that the Evidence-based Practice for Improving Quality method reduced bronchopulmonary dysplasia in the neonatal ICU and that it may reduce nosocomial infection.
Chronic stable angina (CSA) is a major debilitating health problem in Canada. A paucity of relevant cardiovascular data sets has precluded a detailed examination of the impact of interventions on CSA-related costs and its broader economic burden.
As part of a larger clinical trial, the authors sought to determine the short-term impact of a standardized self-management training program on CSA-related costs. A secondary objective was to estimate the total annualized cost of CSA per patient from a societal perspective.
Pre- and three-month post-test cost data were collected on 117 participants using the Ambulatory Home Care Record. Mean annualized direct, indirect and system-related CSA costs (2003 to 2005) were estimated; total per-patient CSA costs from a societal perspective were calculated as the sum of these costs.
The mean (± SD) age of participants was 68±11 years; 80% were male. The program did not impact costs in the short-term. Direct annual out-of-pocket costs, including money paid for health care, travel to appointments, medication, equipment and home support totaled $3,267. Indirect costs, reflecting the value of all unpaid time spent by those engaged in angina-related care, were $12,963. System costs, including costs paid by public and private insurers, were $2,979. Total estimated annual CSA costs from a societal perspective were $19,209 per patient.
These data suggest that CSA imposes a major economic burden, comparable with other prevalent conditions such as chronic noncancer pain. Advancements in self-management training research are needed to help reduce the economic burden of CSA in Canada.
Angina; Cost-benefit analysis; Education
Hospitalized infants undergo multiple, repeated painful procedures. Despite continued efforts to prevent procedural pain and improve pain management, clinical guidelines and standards frequently do not reflect the highest quality evidence from systematic reviews.
To critically appraise all systematic reviews on the effectiveness of procedural pain interventions in hospitalized infants.
A structured review was conducted on published systematic reviews and meta-analyses of pharmacological and nonpharmacological interventions of acute procedural pain in hospitalized infants. Searches were completed in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL and PsycINFO. Two reviewers independently selected articles for review and rated the methodological quality of the included reviews using a validated seven-point quality assessment measure. Any discrepancies were resolved by a third reviewer.
Of 1469 potential systematic reviews on interventions for painful procedures in hospitalized infants, 11 high-quality reviews were included in the analysis. Pharmacological interventions supported by research evidence included premedication for intubation, dorsal penile nerve block and EMLA (AstraZeneca Canada, Inc) for circumcision, and sucrose for single painful procedures. Non-nutritive sucking, swaddling, holding, touching, positioning, facilitative tucking, breast feeding and supplemental breast milk were nonpharmacological interventions supported for procedural pain.
There is a growing number of high-quality reviews supporting procedural pain management in infants. Ongoing research of single, repeated and combined pharmacological and nonpharmacological interventions is required to provide the highest quality evidence to clinicians for decision-making on optimal pain management.
Acute pain; Infants; Pain management; Systematic review
Current approaches to evaluating pain in children with chronic arthritis suffer from methodological problems. A real-time data capture approach using electronic diaries has been proposed as a new standard for pain measurement. However, there is limited information available regarding the development and feasibility of this approach in children.
The aim of the present study was to pilot test the e-Ouch electronic pain diary in terms of compliance and acceptability in adolescents with arthritis to further refine the prototype.
A descriptive study design – with two iterative phases of testing, modifying the prototype and retesting – was used. A purposive sample of 13 adolescents with mild to severe pain and disability was drawn from a large rheumatology clinic in a university-affiliated pediatric tertiary care centre in Canada over a four-week period in December 2004. Participants were signalled with an alarm to use the diary three times per day for a two-week period. Adolescents completed an electronic diary acceptability questionnaire.
Overall mean compliance rates for phases 1 and 2 were 72.9% and 70.5%, respectively. Compliance was affected by the timing of data collection and technical difficulties. Children rated the diary as highly acceptable and easy to use. Phase 1 testing revealed aspects of the software program that affected compliance, which were subsequently altered and tested in phase 2. No further technical difficulties arose in phase 2 testing.
Feasibility testing is a crucial first step in the development of electronic pain measures before use in clinical and research practice.
Adolescents; Electronic diary; Juvenile idiopathic arthritis; Pain; Pilot testing
Acute pain is a common experience for hospitalized children. Despite mounting research on treatments for acute procedure-related pain, it remains inadequately treated.
To critically appraise all systematic reviews on the effectiveness of acute procedure-related pain management in hospitalized children.
Published systematic reviews and meta-analyses on pharmacological and nonpharmacological management of acute procedure-related pain in hospitalized children aged one to 18 years were evaluated. Electronic searches were conducted in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Medline, EMBASE, the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature and PsycINFO. Two reviewers independently selected articles for review and assessed their quality using a validated seven-point quality assessment measure. Any disagreements were resolved by a third reviewer.
Of 1469 published articles on interventions for acute pain in hospitalized children, eight systematic reviews met the inclusion criteria and were included in the analysis. However, only five of these reviews were of high quality. Critical appraisal of pharmacological pain interventions indicated that amethocaine was superior to EMLA (AstraZeneca Canada Inc) for reducing needle pain. Distraction and hypnosis were nonpharmacological interventions effective for management of acute procedure-related pain in hospitalized children.
There is growing evidence of rigorous evaluations of both pharmacological and nonpharmacological strategies for acute procedure-related pain in children; however, the evidence underlying some commonly used strategies is limited. The present review will enable the creation of a future research plan to facilitate clinical decision making and to develop clinical policy for managing acute procedure-related pain in children.
Acute pain, Children; Pain management; Systematic review
Sucrose is widely used to manage procedural pain in term newborns despite a lack of evidence of its effectiveness for different procedures and infant populations. Our objectives were to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of sucrose in newborns undergoing various medical procedures within 2 days of birth.
We performed a double-blind, randomized controlled trial. We included newborns (≥ 36 weeks gestation) of diabetic mothers and nondiabetic mothers. Each newborn received 2 mL of a 24%-sucrose or placebo solution before all procedures. We used the Premature Infant Pain Profile to assess pain during intramuscular injection of vitamin K, venipuncture for the newborn screening test and the first 3 heel lances for glucose monitoring (newborns of diabetic mothers only). Scores ranged from from 0 (no pain) to 18 (maximum pain).
We included 240 newborns (120 from diabetic mothers, 120 from nondiabetic mothers). The overall mean pain score was lower among newborns who received sucrose than among those who received a placebo (mean difference –1.3, 95% confidence interval [CI] –2.0 to –0.6). We found that pain scores during intramuscular injection did not differ significantly between the sucrose and placebo groups for newborns of diabetic or nondiabetic mothers (newborns of nondiabetic mothers: mean difference –1.1, 95% CI –2.4 to 0.2; newborns of diabetic mothers: mean difference –1.0, 95% CI –2.4 to 0.4). During venipuncture, newborns who received sucrose had lower pain scores compared with those who received a placebo (newborns of nondiabetic mothers: mean difference –3.2, 95% CI –4.6 to –1.8; newborns of diabetic mothers: mean difference –2.4, 95% CI –3.8 to –1.0). Among newborns of diabetic mothers, there was no difference in pain during the first 3 heel lances or mean glucose levels between the sucrose and placebo groups (p = 0.94 and p = 0.29 respectively).
We found a modest reduction of pain in newborns of both diabetic and nondiabetic mothers when sucrose was used for all medical procedures performed in the first 2 days after birth. However, when each procedure was analyzed separately, we found that the effectiveness of sucrose was limited to venipuncture for the newborn screening test. (http://Clinicaltrials.gov trial register no. NCT00213213.)
Organizational context plays a central role in shaping the use of research by healthcare professionals. The largest group of professionals employed in healthcare organizations is nurses, putting them in a position to influence patient and system outcomes significantly. However, investigators have often limited their study on the determinants of research use to individual factors over organizational or contextual factors.
The purpose of this study was to examine the determinants of research use among nurses working in acute care hospitals, with an emphasis on identifying contextual determinants of research use. A comparative ethnographic case study design was used to examine seven patient care units (two adult and five pediatric units) in four hospitals in two Canadian provinces (Ontario and Alberta). Data were collected over a six-month period by means of quantitative and qualitative approaches using an array of instruments and extensive fieldwork. The patient care unit was the unit of analysis. Drawing on the quantitative data and using correspondence analysis, relationships between various factors were mapped using the coefficient of variation.
Units with the highest mean research utilization scores clustered together on factors such as nurse critical thinking dispositions, unit culture (as measured by work creativity, work efficiency, questioning behavior, co-worker support, and the importance nurses place on access to continuing education), environmental complexity (as measured by changing patient acuity and re-sequencing of work), and nurses' attitudes towards research. Units with moderate research utilization clustered on organizational support, belief suspension, and intent to use research. Higher nursing workloads and lack of people support clustered more closely to units with the lowest research utilization scores.
Modifiable characteristics of organizational context at the patient care unit level influences research utilization by nurses. These findings have implications for patient care unit structures and offer beginning direction for the development of interventions to enhance research use by nurses.
QUESTION I have heard that thousands of Canadian kids are affected by fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. Has there been any attempt to estimate what it costs our society?
ANSWER In a recent Canadian study, the lifetime cost of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders was estimated at $1 million per case. With an estimated 4000 new cases yearly, this translates to $4 billion annually.
In Canada, the incidence of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) has been estimated to be 1 in 100 live births. Caused by prenatal exposure to alcohol, FASD is the leading cause of neuro-developmental disabilities among Canadian children, and youth. Objective: To measure the health-related quality of life (HRQL) of Canadian children and youth diagnosed with FASD.
A prospective cross-sectional study design was used. One-hundred and twenty-six (126) children and youth diagnosed with FASD, aged 8 to 21 years, living in urban and rural communities throughout Canada participated in the study. Participants completed the Health Utilities Index Mark 3 (HUI3). HUI3 measures eight health attributes: vision, hearing, speech, ambulation, dexterity, emotion, cognition, and pain. Utilities were used to measure a single cardinal value between 0 and 1.0 (0 = all-worst health state; 1 = perfect health) to reflect the global HRQL for that child. Mean HRQL scores and range of scores of children and youth with FASD were calculated. A one-sample t-test was used to compare mean HRQL scores of children and youth with FASD to those from the Canadian population.
Mean HRQL score of children and youth with FASD was 0.47 (95% CI: 0.42 to 0.52) as compared to a mean score of 0.93 (95% CI: 0.92 to 0.94) in those from the general Canadian population (p < 0.001). Children demonstrated moderate to severe dysfunction on the single-attributes of cognition and emotion.
Children and youth with FASD have significantly lower HRQL than children and youth from the general Canadian population. This finding has significant implications for practice, policy development, and research.
A number of infant pain measures have been developed over the past 15 years incorporating behavioural and physiologic indicators; however, no reliable or valid measure exists for infants who are at risk for neurological impairments (NI). The objective of this study was to establish consensus about which behavioural, physiologic and contextual indicators best characterize pain in infants at high, moderate and low levels of risk for NI.
A 39- item, self-administered electronic survey that included infant physiologic, behavioral and contextual pain indicators was used in a two round Delphi consensus exercise. Fourteen pediatric pain experts were polled individually and anonymously on the importance and usefulness of the pain indicators for the 3 differing levels of risk for NI.
The strength of agreement between expert raters was moderate in Round 1 and fair in Round 2. In general, pain indicators with the highest concordance for all three groups were brow bulge, facial grimace, eye squeeze, and inconsolability. Increased heart rate from baseline in the moderate and severe groups demonstrated high concordance. In the severe risk group, fluctuations in heart rate and reduced oxygen saturation were also highly rated.
These data constitute the first step in contributing to the development and validation of a pain measure for infants at risk for NI. In future research, we will integrate these findings with the opinions of (a) health care providers about the importance and usefulness of infant pain indicators and (b) the pain responses of infants at mild, moderate and high risk for NI.