The following is a summary of “Understanding Nurse Characteristics that Influence Assessment and Intention to Treat Pain in Postoperative Patients: An Integrative Literature Review” published in the October 2022 issue of Pain Management Nursing by Slatyer et al.

Greater patient outcomes can be achieved by refining and improving nurse education and practice based on a better understanding of nurse characteristics that influence pain management, and that may be modifiable. The focus of this analysis was on the factors that nurses bring to bear while evaluating and deciding how to treat postoperative pain. Meta-analysis of existing research. For the time period between 2000 and October 2020, researchers searched electronic databases (CINAHL, Scopus, PsycINFO, Medline, and Embase) using the terms “pain assessment,” “pain management,” “postoperative pain,” “nurses,” “culture beliefs,” and “nurses’ perspectives.”

The articles that passed the initial screening were combined and evaluated to determine overarching themes and underlying concepts. There were a total of 40 studies included, with were 3 key themes emerging: nursing knowledge; nurse socio-cultural elements, personal views and attitudes; and nurse belief in or doubt of the patient. There is mounting evidence that certain educational programs can enhance nurses’ understanding of pain management and their use of that understanding in clinical settings. 

What could have been more obvious was how certain nurses’ biases and attitudes affected their pain management. Additional research is required to determine how cultural factors affect pain evaluation and treatment. More quantitative research is required to fully understand the factors that influence nurses’ pain management methods. There is a dire need for intervention studies that employ novel pedagogical approaches to alter preconceived notions and enhance current methods of instruction.