Examining the definition and meaning of pain reveals two fundamental uses: the psychological process and the intensifying emotional and activity levels. Pain management is the successful taking care of and handling of pain by applying particular actions through individual’s own control of these actions (Davis, 1992). Pain experience takes multiple forms and therefore requires approaches that are multi professional. The most significant element of pain management is the availability of healthcare suppliers working in a team.
The successful management of pain therefore depends on these teams with individual members of the team responsible for a particular constructive contribution. Other important components of pain management as cited by Oliver and Ryan (2004) are holistic examinations, remedial and non-remedial options, and education. Other definitions of pain management suggest that patients should be trained on ways to rest, uphold healthy nutrition and understand fatigue and to treat it. Pain specialists define pain management as the treatment of the symptoms of distress as defined by the patient.
These treatments are multidisciplinary because the nature of pain is subjective to each individual. The process of treatment should involve the person who is experiencing the pain in planning and evaluation stages. Relevant education and information should also form part of the treatment. Pain management from patients point of view refers to those medical interventions intended to reduce the levels of pain such as operation or physiotherapy. It also involves providing health related counseling, teaching in order to improve patient’s quality of life while undergoing pain (Larsen, 2007).
Identification and definition of attributes forms the basis of concept analysis. Efforts geared at displaying groups of attributes mostly associated with pain management ensure an in-depth understanding of the concept (Walker and Avant, 2005). Close examination of pain management definitions in nursing reveals the following cluster of words which are arranged in groups to determine defining attributes:- elimination and reduction which imply the process of modulating and responding to pain. Multiprofessional, holistic and teamwork imply multiprofessional methodology.
Remedial / non-remedial, multimodal and medications imply a multimodal strategy. The use of improving quality of life and managing their pain effectively imply self-efficacy. Education, counseling, teaching and giving information imply participative involvement of the patient in pain management. These groups of pain management usage in nursing therefore give rise to the following defining attributes: – the objective of modulating or responding to pain, employing both multiprofessional and multimodal strategies in managing pain, involving patients in the pain management process and finally aiming to achieve patient’s self-efficacy.
Achieving a complete pain relief is usually not possible. Modulation implies altering the pain’s intensity or changing how patient’s respond to it. Healthcare professionals must ensure that the information given to patients is appropriate and assist them in arriving at an informed decision. Patients with inappropriate information cannot effectively participate in the pain management process and therefore achieving self efficacy becomes difficult (Larsen, 2007).