Inpatient satisfaction with pain control improves when more nurses are present

A study, published in Pain Management Nursing, shows a strong link between hospitalized patients' satisfaction with pain treatments and nurse staffing.

Researchers studied hospital characteristics, staffing and nursing care factors associated with patient perception of poor pain control by conducting a secondary analysis of the HCAPHS survey in California, Massachusetts, and New York hospitals.

The study shows patients' satisfaction with pain control significantly improved with higher numbers of registered nurses, nursing staff and hospitalists. Their satisfaction worsened, however, with higher numbers of residents or interns.

The following four factors increased the likelihood patients reported poorly controlled pain:

●    Patients did not receive help as soon as they wanted
●    Poor nurse communication
●    Poor medication education
●    Teaching hospitals

These two factors decreased the likelihood patients reported poorly controlled pain:

●    Higher numbers of nursing staff
●    Nonprofit hospitals

Thus, nurse staffing and nurse-patient communication are highly predictive of inpatients' perception of pain management.

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