Several Factors Impact Parent Management of Child Postoperative Pain

HealthDay News — Several factors impact parents’ management of their children’s postoperative pain at home, according to a study published online June 27 in the Journal of Clinical Nursing.1

Julie Longard, from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada, and colleagues conducted a qualitative study using semi-structured interviews to examine parents’ experiences of managing their children’s postoperative pain at home. Participants were parents of 10 5- and 6-year-olds who underwent adenotonsillectomy and experienced no complications resulting in postoperative hospitalization. The parents were interviewed within three months of surgery. Themes in parents’ experiences were identified using content analysis.

The researchers found that all children experienced some postoperative pain. Parents’ experiences of pain management were affected by balancing the benefits and potential harms of analgesic medications, managing the emotional and psychological effects of their children’s pain, and their own information needs.

“Most parents’ information needs were met yet they still struggled to manage their child’s pain,” the authors write. “These findings provide insight into some of the barriers that make this process challenging for many families, and what health care centers can do to help support parents manage their child’s postoperative pain at home.”


1. Longard J, Twycross A, Williams AM, Hong P, Chorney J. Parents’ experiences of managing their child’s postoperative pain at home: an exploratory qualitative study. J Clin Nurs. 2016.