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‘The most disgusting ever’: children’s pain descriptions and views of the purpose of pain

Publication year
Kortesluoma, R. L.; Nikkonen, M.

This article examines an area of a larger research project, aimed at investigating hospitalized children’s experiences of pain. Descriptions of pain and views regarding the purpose of four to 11-year-old children’s pain were investigated. A total of 44 hospitalized children participated in the study. The data were collected by means of a qualitative interview with the children. Using qualitative content analysis, interviews were coded and categories identified. Participant descriptions aimed at generalizing the pain. The children specified the nature of the pain and used paraphrases and metaphors. The study demonstrated that most of the children were able to articulate the purpose that they ascribe to their pain. The findings challenge nursing staff to regard the suffering child as an active partner in assessing their pain. An enhanced understanding can better prepare nurses for participating in the management of hospitalized children’s pain.

Research abstracts