Acute Pain Teams in England: current provision and their role in postoperative pain management

MCDONNELL, A., NICHOLL, J. and READ, S. M. (2003). Acute Pain Teams in England: current provision and their role in postoperative pain management. Journal of clinical nursing, 12 (3), 387-393.

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This survey describes the current provision of multidisciplinary Acute Pain Teams (APTs) in acute English hospitals performing adult in-patient surgery (excluding maternity). Associations between the presence of an APT and a number of organizational and clinical initiatives for the management of postoperative pain are also explored. Postal questionnaires were sent to the Clinical Director of Anaesthetics or head of the APT at every acute English hospital providing separate anaesthetic services. After written and telephone reminders, the response rate was 86% (n = 226). Eighty-four per cent (n = 190) of respondents had an APT in their hospital. The presence of an APT was associated (P less than or equal to0.05) with higher estimates of patient controlled analgesia and epidural use, regular in-service training for nurses and junior doctors, written guidelines/protocols for management of postoperative pain, routine use of postoperative pain measurement systems and audit/research in relation to postoperative pain issues. Acute Pain Teams, in which nurses play a major role, have a pivotal influence not only in relation to postoperative analgesia but also in wider service development. Since 1995, the number of hospitals offering in-patient surgery that are covered by an APT has risen. However, despite repeated endorsements from professional bodies, some acute hospitals still have no APT and recent evidence indicates that some APTs face financial problems and provide a 'token' service only. Recent policy recommendations may have little impact on the current situation.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Centre for Health and Social Care Research
Identification Number:
Page Range: 387-393
Depositing User: Helen Garner
Date Deposited: 19 Oct 2010 15:40
Last Modified: 19 Mar 2021 00:45

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