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Rigshospitalet - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
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Pain prevalence in hospitalized children: a prospective cross-sectional survey in four Danish university hospitals

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BACKGROUND: Pain management in hospitalized children is often inadequate. The prevalence and main sources of pain in Danish university hospitals is unknown.

METHODS: This prospective mixed-method cross-sectional survey took place at four university hospitals in Denmark. We enrolled 570 pediatric patients who we asked to report their pain experience and its management during the previous 24 hours. For patients identified as having moderate to severe pain, patient characteristics and analgesia regimes were reviewed.

RESULTS: Two hundred and thirteen children (37%) responded that they had experienced pain in the previous 24 hours. One hundred and thirty four (24%) indicated moderate to severe pain and 43% would have preferred an intervention to alleviate the pain. In children hospitalized for more than 24 hours, the prevalence of moderate/severe pain was significantly higher compared to children admitted the same day. The single most common painful procedure named by the children was needle procedures, such as blood draw and intravenous cannulation.

CONCLUSION: This study reveals high pain prevalence in children across all age groups admitted to four Danish university hospitals. The majority of children in moderate to severe pain did not have a documented pain assessment, and evidence-based pharmacological and/or integrative ('non-pharmacological') measures were not systematically administered to prevent or treat pain. Thus, practice changes are needed.

Original languageEnglish
JournalActa Anaesthesiologica Scandinavica
Volume61
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)328-337
Number of pages10
ISSN0001-5172
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2017

ID: 49839222