Pharmacy World and Science

, Volume 21, Issue 4, pp 168–172 | Cite as

Training of medical staff positively influences postoperative pain management at home in children

  • Kati Sepponen
  • Hannu Kokki
  • Riitta Ahonen


The aim of this study was to describe how parents manage their child's postoperative pain at home following day‐case surgery. The incidence of pain, different analgesics used and problems related to administering medications were the main interests of the study. A postal questionnaire was sent to the parents of 275 children who were under 8 years of age and had undergone an ear, nose and throat (ENT) day‐case operation. The questionnaire was sent to the parents a week after discharge from hospital. Altogether, the parents of 227 children answered the questionnaire (response rate 83%). The study was divided into two phases (preintervention and postintervention), and incorporated a training program for doctors and nurses between these two phases. The training program aimed to improve the treatment practices of postoperative pain in children. Seventy‐eight per cent of the children in the preintervention study and 75% in the postintervention study experienced at least mild pain after discharge. The training program for doctors and nurses affected the home treatment practices of postoperative pain. The proportion of parents treating their children increased from 68% to 80% after the training program (p=0.028). Many parents faced problems while treating their children; for example, 19% (n=30) of the children refused to take their medicine, and suppositories were regarded to be an especially unpleasant dosage form. However, no serious adverse effects were reported. We conclude that due to the pain experienced at home by the great majority of children following day‐case ENT operations, parents need information on how to manage their child's pain. A training program for doctors and nurses can improve the treatment of children's pain even at home. Since some children dislike suppositories, it would be worth considering the use of small tablets or mixtures instead.

Adenoidectomy Children Day‐case surgery Home care Pain medication Postoperative pain Tonsillectomy 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kati Sepponen
  • Hannu Kokki
  • Riitta Ahonen

There are no affiliations available

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