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Arch Hellen Med, 32(5), September-October 2015, 604-613


Assessment of nursing staff on knowledge about cancer pain

Ι. Artopoulou,1 B. Alikari,2 S. Zyga2
1University Hospital of Ioannina, Ioannina,
2Department of Nursing, University of the Peloponnese, Sparta, Greece

OBJECTIVE Assessment of the level of knowledge of the nursing staff about cancer pain.

METHOD A quantitative cross study was conducted. Randomized sampling was performed and 174 nurses and nursing assistants took part, completing an anonymous questionnaire covering demographic parameters and the "Knowledge and Attitudes Survey Regarding Pain" questionnaire of Ferrell and McCaffery (2008). The tool Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS), version 20 was used for analysis of the data. The Cronbach's α of the questionnaire was 0.75, which indicates satisfactory internal consistency.

RESULTS Of the participants, 77.6% were females, 50.4% were aged >41 years of age and 43.1% were graduates of the Technological Educational Institute (TEI); 49.6% were working in a University Hospital and 27.6% in a surgical ward and 65.5% had been nursing for more than 10 years. In the pain questionnaire the percentage of wrong answers was less than 50% (16 of 36 questions). Bivariate analysis revealed a statistically significant relationship at the level of 20% (p<0.20) between the knowledge score and age (p=0.09), hospital of work (p=0.001), hospital ward (p<0.001), and years of nursing experience (p<0.06).

CONCLUSIONS The knowledge of the nursing staff about opioids and their means of administration and action, the physiology of pain, and non-pharmaceutical treatment modalities practised by the medical and nursing staff vary among nurses, and this can have a negative impact on the care provided to oncology patients, which appears to be significantly lacking.

Key words: Analgesics, Cancer pain, Knowledge evaluation, Opioids, Pain.

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