The purpose of this study was to culturally validate three pain measurement instruments [Behavioral Pain Scale (BPS), the Critical-Care Pain Observation Tool (CPOT) and the Nonverbal Adult Pain Assessment Scale (NVPS)] for sedated intensive care patients and in doing so to prepare the tools for psychometric testing in the Finnish intensive care environment.
Most patients feel pain during their stay in an intensive care unit. Pain recognition and assessment is the first step towards effective pain management. The BPS, CPOT and NVPS are the most valid and reliable pain assessment instruments developed to objectively assess pain in sedated intensive care patients.
The translation and cultural adaptation of the instruments were done according to the guidelines of the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes (ISPOR). The process included 10 phases aiming to produce semantically correct Finnish versions of the pain assessment instruments. This translation process was chosen due to its rigorousness and systematic approach.
The 10-step translation and cultural validation process were successfully conducted, although it was complex and time-consuming. The resulting Finnish versions of the three pain assessment instruments showed good evidence of content and conceptual equivalence. Although further work is needed to test these instruments in the Finnish intensive care context, the current Finnish versions are potential instruments for clinicians to use.
Deciding when this high-quality process is needed requires thorough consideration. However, it is worthwhile to use it when implementing new instruments at a national level. We need a valid, reliable and feasible instrument for pain assessment in sedated intensive care patients in Finland. The next step in our process is conducting psychometric testing of these three instruments to choose the tool with the best properties to be implemented in clinical practice.
Pain is a common postoperative symptom, and length of hospital stay after surgery is short which highlights the importance of pain assessments. Experiences of assessing pain are mainly described from the perspective of nurses. In postoperative care, enrolled nurses and physicians also assess pain. It is therefore important to take note of their experiences to improve postoperative pain assessments.
The aim of this study was, through considering critical incidents, to describe care experiences and actions taken by healthcare professionals when assessing postoperative pain.
An explorative design employing critical incidents technique analysis was used. A total of 24 strategically selected enrolled nurses, nurses and physicians employed at orthopaedic or general surgery wards in four Swedish hospitals were interviewed. The intention was to reach variation in age, sex, profession and professional experience.
In pain assessments, patient-related facilitators were patients' verbal and emotional expressions including pain ratings, while lack of consistency with observed behaviours was a barrier. Clinical competence, continuity in care and time were healthcare-related facilitators. The actions healthcare professionals took were gathering facts about patients' pain manifestations and adapting to patients' communication abilities. Patient observations, either passive or active were used to confirm or detect pain. Collaboration between healthcare professionals, including consultations with pain experts, social workers and relatives, strengthened understanding of pain.
Communication skills and working conditions have an impact on performance of pain assessment. Patient comfort without compromising safety is reached by including healthcare professionals' dissimilar responsibilities when collecting patients' and relatives' perspectives on current pain.
Assessing pain in the intensive care unit (ICU) is challenging. Due to intubation and sedation, communication can be limited. International guidelines recommend assessing pain with instruments based on behavioral parameters when critically ill patients are unable to self-report their pain level. One of the recommended instruments, the Behavioral Pain Scale (BPS), has shown good validity and reliability in international studies. The aim of this study was to translate and adapt the BPS for critically ill intubated and non-intubated patients in a Swedish ICU context and to assess inter-rater reliability and discriminant validity.
The BPS (both for intubated and non-intubated patients) was translated and adapted into Swedish using a translation method consisting of ten steps. The Swedish version was then tested for inter-rater reliability and discriminant validity on 20 critically ill patients (10 intubated and 10 non-intubated) before and directly after a potentially painful procedure (repositioning).
The Swedish version of the BPS showed inter-rater reliability with a percentage agreement of 85% when tested on a sample of critically ill patients. The instrument also showed discriminant validity between assessments at rest and after repositioning.
Results of the Swedish version of the BPS support its use in critically ill patients who cannot self-report their pain level. Still, additional studies are needed to further explore its reliability and validity in the Swedish ICU context.
Comment On: Intensive Care Med. 2009 Dec;35(12):2060-719697008
Comment On: Crit Care Med. 2001 Dec;29(12):2258-6311801819
Comment On: Intensive Crit Care Nurs. 2006 Feb;22(1):32-916198570
The literature suggests that health professionals have a tendency to underestimate pain when performing clinical assessments. In addition, it appears that the more clinical experience one has, the greater will be the underestimation of pain. Pain assessment is difficult because of the complex interaction between environment, patient and practitioner variables. Although there is a need for further research in this area, there are clinical implications worthy of consideration. Health professionals need to use a variety of valid and reliable measures, use measures of pain behaviour and disability to complement self-report measures and examine how their own biases and values may influence pain judgements.
In a population survey, we assessed the incidence of fibromyalgia (FM) among females. A screening questionnaire about pain was distributed twice (in 1990 and 1995) to 2498 females aged 20-49 yr, living in South Norway. A positive answer classified the responder as positive, merely negative answers as negative. One hundred females converting from negative to positive responders and 100 females remaining negative responders (controls) underwent a structural interview and examination for tender points (TP). Of the 870 negative responders in 1990, 717 answered the questionnaire in 1995. Of these, 523 were still negative responders, while 194 were positive converters. Twelve of the converters developed FM and none of the controls. The calculated annual incidence of FM in females was 583/100,000. This rather high incidence is most likely explained by the design of the study, also detecting cases usually not seen in hospital settings.