Would a targeted educational program improve A&E nurses' confidence and competence in effectively assessing and managing pain in patients with substance use disorders?: A pilot study.
(2014) Would a targeted educational program improve A&E nurses' confidence and competence in effectively assessing and managing pain in patients with substance use disorders?: A pilot study., no. 70.
Background: Patients with substance use disorders present unique challenges to healthcare providers in the context of pain management. Healthcare providers report feeling ill-prepared to deal with these challenges and it has been documented that patients with substance use disorders are at risk of receiving sub-optimal care. Due to the physiological and psychosocial disturbances associated with substance use, this group of patients may present to any clinical setting, therefore nurses across the National Health Service (NHS) should be competent and confident in meeting the care needs of these patients. However, as the great majority of these patients who access NHS services are emergency admissions, therefore attending Accident and Emergency (A&E) departments, A&E nurses will have the most exposure to this patient group. Therefore, it is imperative that these nurses have the knowledge and skills to effectively assess and manage pain in patients with substance use disorders. Aims: From reviewing the literature, it is clear that there is a paucity of quantitative research relating to pain management in patients with substance use disorders, more so which addresses a solution to the problem, rather than identifying the influencing factors. The aims of this study are, therefore, to assess the impact of a targeted educational program on A&E nurses' confidence and competence in effectively assessing and managing pain in patients with substance use disorders. This proposed study aims to, firstly, assess whether the targeted educational program improves nurses' knowledge, beliefs and attitudes regarding pain management in this patient group, and if so, secondly, to assess if this improvement in knowledge, beliefs and attitudes has a direct impact on clinical practice. Methods: A quantitative approach has been chosen for this research. The author seeks to find resolute answers to the research question, and numerical data will be yielded through data collection. This proposed study uses a pre and post-test design, with a follow-up at six months following the intervention to assess if the effects are subject to decay over time. The method of data-collection will be self-reported questionnaires with closed and specific open-ended questions; the same questionnaire presented at the three stages of data-collection. Due to the proposed study being a pilot study, the sample size is restricted, and will consist of all nurses with Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) registration from one A&E department in Scotland. Hypothesis: The author's hypotheses are that the targeted educational program will improve nurses' confidence and competence in assessing and managing pain in patients with substance use disorders and that improvement in clinical practice will be predicted by an increase in knowledge, beliefs and attitudes towards this patient group.