Current Content
Volume 40 - Number 6
November/December 2014

An Educational Intervention to Improve Pain Assessment in Preverbal Children
Aimee Vael and Kelli Whitted

Problem: Pediatric nurses often use an inappropriate tool to assess pain in children younger than 36 months of age.

Objective: This intervention intended to improve the nursing practice of assessing pain in preverbal (less than 36 months of age) children.

Methods: Pain assessment frequency and use of a pain assessment pediatric tool use was evaluated pre- and post-intervention via a retrospective chart review and a survey of pediatric nurses. Parametric and non-parametric statistical tests were used to determine significant differences between pre- and postintervention data for both approaches.

Results: The chart review data showed a significant increase in the number of times pain was assessed and documented post-educational intervention. Similarly, the survey data analysis showed a significant post-intervention increase in the use of a pain assessment tool and that most nurses used the FLACC pain assessment tool when assessing pain in preverbal children.

Conclusion: Educating staff nurses about the use of an appropriate pain assessment scale altered practice and improved the frequency of pain assessment of preverbal children.