Sarah R. Addison: A Study of Pain Behaviours in Postoperative Patients
This study was designed to investigate behaviours which
appeared to be related to pain postoperatively of forty patients
on the third and fourth day after major abdominal surgery and
nurses' responses to such behaviours. The method employed to
identify and analyse these behaviours was that of participant
observation and of concurrently collecting, coding and analysing
data from the empirical situation.
Two main categories of patients' behaviours which were
conceptualized as indicators of pain were identified from 292
behaviours drawn from the data. Indicators of pain which could
be primarily seen by others were termed visual and those which
could be primarily heard were termed auditory indicators.
Subcategories emerged out of these two categories.
Three categories of nurses' responses were isolated;
promise to give medication, giving medication and giving advice.
Patterns emerged out of both patient's behaviours and
Patterns of Patients' Behaviours
1. From exhibiting visual indicators of pain to exhibiting
auditory indicators of pain.
2. Exhibiting only visual indicators of pain.
In the 80 observation periods, there were 50 incidents of exhibiting
only visual indicators of pain (pattern 2) and 30 incidents where
patients moved from exhibiting visual indicators of pain to exhibiting
auditory indicators of pain (pattern l).
The findings showed that the nature of the indicators of pain
demonstrated was related to the age of the patient, the type of surgery,
previous surgery experience and time lapse after surgery.
Patterns of Nurses' Responses (as related to prior patient
behaviours indicating the presence of pain) were discovered to be:
1. Responding to auditory indicators
2. Responding to some visual indicators
3 . Not responding at all (most frequent).
It is suggested that some indicators are associated with a high
degree of pain and others with a low degree of pain. One hundred and
sixty“three (163) indicators of a high degree of pain were isolated
and 129 of a low degree of pain. The proportion of high and low pain
indicators was related to the type of surgery and time lapse after
surgery. There were 17 responses to these indicators, 15 to indicators
of a high degree of pain and 2 to indicators of a low degree of pain.
Indicators of pain occurred in clusters and each cluster
usually contained some which were associated with high pain and some
with low pain.
Four patterns of outcomes of behaviours followed the already
identified behaviours; disappearance of the pain indicators, indicators
of a high degree of pain were predominant and remained, indicators of a
high degree of pain were predominant but changed to a predominance of
indicators of a low degree of pain, and indicators of a low degree of
pain were predominant and remained.
The findings alr,o showed that there were more visual
indicators, 23h, than auditory indicators, $8, and yet most of the
small number of nurses' responses were given to auditory indicators
of pain. This suggests that nurses need to place emphasis on the
continuous visual aspect of observation as well as the continuous
assessment, planning, intervention and evaluation of intervention.
Leaders of nursing can have periodic observation with nurses and
encourage them to examine situations by asking questions of how,
what, when, and why about the situations concerned. They can also
record their observations and attempt to identify logical
SSA, R (2021). A Study Of Pain Behaviours In Postoperative Patients. Afribary.com: Retrieved April 15, 2021, from https://afribary.com/works/a-study-of-pain-behaviours-in-postoperative-patients
Research, SSA. "A Study Of Pain Behaviours In Postoperative Patients" Afribary.com. Afribary.com, 08 Apr. 2021, https://afribary.com/works/a-study-of-pain-behaviours-in-postoperative-patients . Accessed 15 Apr. 2021.
Research, SSA. "A Study Of Pain Behaviours In Postoperative Patients". Afribary.com, Afribary.com, 08 Apr. 2021. Web. 15 Apr. 2021. < https://afribary.com/works/a-study-of-pain-behaviours-in-postoperative-patients >.
Research, SSA. "A Study Of Pain Behaviours In Postoperative Patients" Afribary.com (2021). Accessed April 15, 2021. https://afribary.com/works/a-study-of-pain-behaviours-in-postoperative-patients