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Clinical Practice Guidelines for Chronic Pain

Written by kimmel52 on January 8, 2013 – 9:55 pm

Relax, there is a study guide to help you

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Clinical practice guidelines for chronic Pain
nancy kimmel
October 18, 2014

Clinical practice guidelines for chronic Pain
The purpose of this paper is to identify the current clinical nursing guidelines regarding the treatment of chronic pain and its financial impact on the healthcare system, community, patients and their families. Additionally, this paper will explore the expectations of the BSN in the implementation and documentation of evidenced based practice.
Nursing management of chronic pain
Pain is a symptom that frequently goes unreported and unrecognized in patient care settings. Pain also has negative effects on the patient and their families.(Stenner, Carey, & Courtenay, 2012, p. 3335) “It’s disheartening for frontline nurses and other providers to feel they are not meeting their patients’ needs,” LaFevers said. “Not everyone can go to a pain specialist.”(“Better management needed,” 2014, para. 37)
Chronic pain and its significance in nursing practice
Chronic pain is an individual experience. Nurses face many challenges in helping those who suffer from chronic pain.(Dysvik & Furnes, 2012, p. 187) Pain is the main reason that patients seek healthcare.(Gretarsdottir & Gunnarsdottir, 2011, p. 16) Research shows that over 50% of these patients have suffered pain within 24 hours of seeking medical help.(Gretarsdottir & Gunnarsdottir, 2011, p. 16) An individual nurse may be able to help relieve the patient’s pain during their shift, whereas the next nurse on duty may not be able to provide the needed relief. Nurses working collectively as a team can better manage the effects of chronic pain in patients than a nurse acting alone. The management of pain as a group effort requires nurses’ to have a thorough knowledge of pain theory and the use of the behavioral and cognitive approach.(Dysvik & Furnes, 2012, p. 187)
The expectation of the BSN in chronic pain management
Belonging to a supportive team with clear roles helps in the complex management of chronic pain.(Dysvik & Furnes, 2012, p. 189) The BSN nurse typically assumes the leadership role.(Video Laureate Education, Inc., 2009) The group leader in the management of chronic pain is multifaceted.(Dysvik & Furnes, 2012, p. 189) The BSN must utilize the current research on the management of chronic pain and present this to the group. It is the moral and ethical duty of the BSN to utilize evidenced based practice.(Video Laureate Education, Inc., 2009) They are also the catalyst of change for their group.
Clinical practice guidelines in the management of chronic pain
According to the National Guideline Clearing House, chronic pain management should begin with assessment of the pain, the duration, intensity, description in the patient’s own words, location, onset, quality and duration.(Institute for clinical systems improvement [], 2013) The nurse should also take into consideration the psycho-social factors the chronic pain may influence, such as depression and drug abuse.(ICSI, 2013) The treatment of chronic pain is a mulifactorial group approach led by the physician and nurse leader.(ICSI, 2013) Treatment should be addressed in levels with medications not being the sole focus.(ICSI, 2013) Comprehensive patient assessment algorithms for chronic pain begin with addressing the psycho-social factors. These factors include the patient’s reaction to their pain, their scioeconic status, their support or lack of support system, family history of pain therapies and their cultural and ethnic beliefs on the management of pain. The nurses understanding of the biopsychosocial model helps with the implementation of a pain treatment protocol that will benefit the patient’s long term goals.(ICSI, 2013)
The impact of chronic pain on the patient and the community
The under treatment of pain is a global problem.(Gretarsdottir & Gunnarsdottir, 2011, p. 16) Unresolved treatment of pain can have negative impact on the quality of life, economic productivity and healthcare utilization.(Gretarsdottir & Gunnarsdottir, 2011, p. 16) In 2011 at least 100 million American adults have common chronic pain conditions.(“Relieving pain in America,” 2014, para. 12) Pain is a significant public health problem that costs society at least $560- $635 billion annually,( an amount equal to about $2000 dollars for everyone living in the U.S.).(“Relieving pain in America,” 2014, para. 12)
The cost of pain to the healthcare system
In 2008 the cost of pain to the federal and state government for medical expenditures was $99 billion dollars.(“Relieving pain in America,” 2014, para. 13) Analysis from the CDC showed that nearly half a million emergency department visits in 2009 were from people abusing or misusing prescription pain killers.(“Relieving pain in America,” 2014, para. 13)

Dysvik, E., & Furnes, B. (2012). Nursing leadership in a chronic pain management group approach [Chronic pain management group approach]. Journal of nursing management, 187-195.
Facts on pain. (2014). Retrieved from
Gretarsdottir, S., & Gunnarsdottir, E. (2011). Systematic review aimed at nurses to improve pain management [Magazine]. Nordic journal of nursing research and clinical studies, 31(4), 16-21. Retrieved from
Institute for clinical systems improvement. (2013). Assessment and management of chronic pain. Retrieved from
Stenner, K., Carey, N., & Courtenay, M. ( 2012, February 9th). Prescribing for pain – how do nurses contribute? A national questionnaire survey [Prescribing for pain]. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 21(23/24), 3335-3345.
The state of pain-better management needed. (2014). Retrieved from
Video Laureate Education, Inc. (2009, ). Research and scholarship for evidence-based practice: Introduction to evidence-based practice and research [Video file]. Retrieved from

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