Patient perceptions of pain management therapy: a comparison of real-time assessment of patient education and satisfaction and registered nurse perceptions.
ABSTRACT Nurses must have an understanding of their patients' perception to assist in meeting analgesic goals. Adequate patient teaching is essential. The value of a simplified tool to assess patients' satisfaction has not been widely examined. This study examined if nurses' perceptions of their patients' satisfaction with pain management are congruent with patients' self-report, and if patients' level of satisfaction corresponds with the type of therapy used and adequacy of teaching related to their pain management plan. Data were collected though a survey in a community hospital. It was designed as an evaluative study of the variables in two nursing units and as a pilot study of the survey tool. Ratings of patient satisfaction by nurses (3.8 ± 0.88 [mean ± SD]) were similar to patients' self-ratings (4.08 ± 1.06). Higher self-report of pain (visual analog scale 4.00 ± 2.22) was associated with lower levels of satisfaction (3.80 ± 0.881). Patients reporting adequate teaching rated a higher satisfaction score (4.46) than patients reporting inadequate teaching [3.59; t (48) = -3.12; p = .003]. Patients receiving intravenous analgesia as needed had higher pain VAS scores (4.74) than patients receiving other analgesia protocols [3.37; t(48) = -2.26; p = .028]. Measuring patient satisfaction has become critical in evaluating adequacy of treatment. Factors that affect patients' satisfaction with pain management include the adequacy of teaching they receive and the type of therapy they are provided. A simple survey can be a useful tool in measuring satisfaction.