Alyssa Ethier

Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

Document Type

Major Paper


School of Nursing




Managing patients’ pain is a challenge that many caregivers face as they balance adequate pain management with minimal drug side effects. Nonpharmacological pain management techniques exist that literature has shown to be effective. Although caregivers may be aware that nonpharmacological pain relief options exist, pharmacological pain management still remains the primary, and often the sole form of pain intervention. The purpose of this project was to identify nurses’ perceptions of barriers to using nonpharmacological methods to manage their patients’ pain in the inpatient hospital setting. A modified survey was created using the Nurses’ Perceived Obstacles to Pain Assessment and Management Practices questionnaire by Coker et al (2010). The modified survey included 19 questions that were relevant to nonpharmacological pain management of an adult patient in the hospital setting. The participants’ years of nursing experience was also collected with this tool. A total of 19 nurses that work in the Intensive Care Unit of Newport Hospital, a 129-bed community hospital in Newport, RI were surveyed. The results of the survey showed that over half of all respondents perceived they had inadequate time to educate their patients on the use of nonpharmacological pain management and that their institution did not have clear policies or guidelines of best practices regarding nonpharmacological pain management. Over 45% of all respondents found a lack of system support and education and patient attitude to be barriers. This project identified that both nurses and patients would benefit from further guidance by the institution with the use of guidelines and policies to enhance their knowledge, confidence, efficiency, and skills to manage their patients’ pain with nonpharmacological options.

Included in

Nursing Commons