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Donna J. Bailey


AbstractPain has been a significant problem in old age and is more problematic in cognitively impaired older residents (CIOR) because of their inability to express themselves. The goal of pain assessment in CIOR is to treat pain before it escalates to behavioral problems. This descriptive qualitative study aimed to explore nurses’ perceptions of pain assessment in CIOR in long-term care facilities. Watson’s theory of human caring was used to frame the study. A purposive sample of eight nurses was recruited from two long-term care facilities for interviews conducted using the telephone and continued until saturation was reached. Data was manually transcribed after collection. Results indicated three themes: difficulty, pain assessment tools, and pain management. Findings showed that nurses have different perceptions of pain assessment and manage pain differently depending on the residents. Further study is recommended on pain in CIOR to explore the lived experiences of other health care professionals. Findings may affect positive social change in long-term care facilities by increasing nurses’ awareness and understanding of the consistency and accuracy of pain assessment in CIOR. Positive social change may occur in long-term care facilities through improved CIOR care and relationships with families and the community.

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