Pain Management

Pain Management

  • Pain is a complex, multidimensional experience that can cause suffering and decreased quality of life 
  • One major reason people seek health care


Definition of Pain

  • “Whatever the person experiencing pain says it is, existing whenever the person says it does.” Margo McCaffery
  • “Unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage.” IASP

Magnitude of Pain problem

  • 25 million people experience acute pain from injury or surgery 
  • Chronic pain affects over a million American adults
  • 60% of cancer patients experience pain during treatment
  • Despite the prevalence of pain, many studies document inadequate pain management across care settings and patient populations
  • Consequences of untreated pain
    • Unnecessary suffering
    • Physical and psychosocial dysfunction 
    • Immunosuppression 
    • Sleep disturbances


Description of Pain

  • Subjective: Patient’s experience and self-report are essential
    • Can be problematic when dealing with special populations (coma or dementia)
  • Nonverbal information such as behaviors aids the assessment of pain


Dimensions of Pain

  • Biopsychosocial Model of Pain
    • Physiologic
    • Affective
    • Cognitive
    • Behavioral
    • Sociocultural