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Variations in pain, sleep, and activity during hospitalization in children with cancer

Publication year
Jacob, E.; Hesselgrave, J.; Sambuco, G.; Hockenberry, M.

This study examines the pain experiences of children with cancer during hospitalization. A descriptive design with repeated measures was used to describe the location, intensity, and quality of pain, pain medications, amount of pain relief, and perceptions of sleep and activity during hospitalization. Data were collected once daily from the day of admission for up to a maximum of 5 consecutive days during hospitalization. Results show that more than half of the patients (27 of 49 patients) indicated they were having pain. Eleven patients (22.4%) had mild pain (mean = 2.3 +/- 0.9 SD; range, 0.3-3.6), 10 (20.4%) had moderate pain (mean = 5.3 +/- 0.2 SD; range, 5.0-5.5), and 6 (12.2%) had severe pain (mean = 7.6 +/- 1.3 SD; range, 6.5-10.0). The highest pain intensity ratings occurred on day 1. Overall, most patients reported good relief after pain medications during hospitalization. Consistent assessment and implementation of pain interventions within the 24 hours of admission is recommended, with particular attention to persistent pain after painful procedures.

Research abstracts