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.