Pain Relief at the End of Life : Nurses’ Experiences Regarding End-of-Life Pain Relief in Patients with Dementia

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Pain Relief at the End of Life : Nurses’ Experiences Regarding End-of-Life Pain Relief in Patients with Dementia

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Publication Article, peer reviewed scientific
Title Pain Relief at the End of Life : Nurses’ Experiences Regarding End-of-Life Pain Relief in Patients with Dementia
Author(s) Brorson, Hanna ; Plymoth, Henrietta ; Örmon, Karin ; Bolmsjö, Ingrid
Date 2013
English abstract
Patients with dementia receive suboptimal palliative care, and this patient group is at risk to have pain at the end of life. Because communicative impairments are common in this patient group, nurses play an important caregiver role in identifying, assessing, and relieving patients’ pain. This study aimed to describe nurses’ experiences regarding end-of-life pain relief in patients with dementia. This descriptive exploratory qualitative study was based on seven semistructured interviews. Burnard’s content analysis inspired the data analysis. Two main categories were identified: (1) nurses’ experience of difficulties concerning pain relief and (2) nurses’ experience of resources concerning pain relief. Nurses experienced difficulties, such as feeling of powerlessness because of difficulties in obtaining adequate prescriptions for analgesics, ethical dilemmas, feeling of inadequacy because analgesia did not have the desired effect, and a feeling of not being able to connect with the patient. Factors, including knowledge about the patient, professional experience, utilization of pain assessment tools, interpersonal relationships, and interprofessional cooperation, served as resources and enabled end-of-life pain relief. The results of this study highlight the complexity of pain relief in patients with dementia at the end of life from a nursing perspective. The inability of patients with dementia to verbally communicate their pain makes them a vulnerable patient group, dependent on their caregivers. Knowing the life story of the patient, professional experience, teamwork based on good communication, and use of a pain assessment tool were reported by the nurses to improve pain relief at the end of life for patients with dementia.
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pmn.2012.10.005 (link to publisher's fulltext)
Publisher Elsevier
Host/Issue Pain Management Nursing;1
Volume 15
ISSN 1524-9042
Pages 315–323
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) Medicine
Research Subject Categories::MEDICINE
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/16751 (link to this page)

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