A Systematic Integrative Review of Infant Pain Assessment Tools

Lenora J. Duhn, RN, MSc; Jennifer M. Medves, RN, PhD

Disclosures

Adv Neonatal Care. 2004;4(3) 

In This Article

Implications for Research

It is evident from this review that there are a number of infant pain assessment tools. Instead of formulating new tools, additional studies on existing tools are warranted to provide further research evidence of their strengths and limitations. It is also necessary to evaluate the impact of these assessment tools on pain management practices. It is unclear whether using pain assessment tools makes a difference in reducing sequelae; therefore, well-designed long-term studies would be advantageous. Studies to answer questions about the impact of introducing a pain assessment tool, parents' perceptions of pain assessment, and staff perceptions related to pain assessment tools would provide additional insight into the issues of infant pain assessment and management. Given that most of the existing tools focus on procedural pain, exploration of chronic pain assessment measures must be investigated. Further, pain assessment tools that distinguish between pain and agitation may prove beneficial.

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