A qualitative and quantitative needs assessment of pain management for hospitalized orthopedic patients

Grace A. Cordts, Marian S. Grant, Lynsey E. Brandt, Simon C. Mears

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Despite advances in pain management, little formal teaching is given to practitioners and nurses in its use for postoperative orthopedic patients. The goal of our study was to determine the educational needs for orthopedic pain management of our residents, nurses, and physical therapists using a quantitative and qualitative assessment. The needs analysis was conducted in a 10-bed orthopedic unit at a teaching hospital and included a survey given to 20 orthopedic residents, 9 nurses, and 6 physical therapists, followed by focus groups addressing barriers to pain control and knowledge of pain management. Key challenges for nurses included not always having breakthrough pain medication orders and the gap in pain management between cessation of patientcontrolled analgesia and ordering and administering oral medications. Key challenges for orthopedic residents included treating pain in patients with a history of substance abuse, assessing pain, and determining when to use long-acting vs short-acting opioids. Focus group assessments revealed a lack of training in pain management and the need for better coordination of care between nurses and practitioners and improved education about special needs groups (the elderly and those with substance abuse issues). This needs assessment showed that orthopedic residents and nurses receive little formal education on pain management, despite having to address pain on a daily basis. This information will be used to develop an educational program to improve pain management for postoperative orthopedic patients. An integrated educational program with orthopedic residents, nurses, and physical therapists would promote understanding of issues for each discipline.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e368-e373
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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