Objectives: This descriptive study’s aim was to examine the knowledge and attitudes of nurses in five Saudi Arabian (Hail region) hospitals regarding pain management using the KASRP tool.
Design: Five hundred copies of the KASRP were distributed to the total estimated population of nurses working within five hospitals. A survey return rate of 60 % (N = 303) was achieved. Data are analysed using descriptive statistics, measures of variability and inferential statistics,
Results: In this study, the average correct response rate to the various questions was 41.75 per cent, with rates ranging from 5–87 per cent. The findings indicate inadequate knowledge regarding pain, pain assessment, pain management and pain medications. The study findings indicated that nurses irrespective of being local or expatriate recorded a major deficiency in their knowledge regarding assessment and management of pain. The nurses also held incorrect attitudes towards pain assessment and lacked knowledge regarding pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions.
Conclusions: Nurses require more knowledge regarding pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions, as well as training to adequately care for patients with different cultural backgrounds. Hospitals have not been promoting interventions, methods and routines to encourage pain assessment, nor communication between nurses and patients, and non-pharmacological interventions to reduce pain. From the management’s perspective, the main reason for this is the shortage of staff, and the same opinion is given by nurses when questioned about time issues, such as the ability to adequately communicate with patients to assess pain. This study recommends increased education regarding pain management, as well as an annual assessment of skills for all clinical nurses. The expertise gained in training programs could be enhanced through workshops and courses that are conducted on a regular basis in order to keep nurses’ knowledge up to date.
Pain, KASRP, Saudi Arabia, Nursing Knowledge, Nursing Assessment, Nursing Attitudes