Self-Perceived Pain Assessment Knowledge and Confidence (Self-PAC) Scale for Cancer and Palliative Care Nurses: A Preliminary Validation Study

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Pain Management Nursing, 2018, 19 (6), pp. 619 - 626
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© 2018 American Society for Pain Management Nursing Background: Pain is highly prevalent in all health care settings, and frequently poorly managed. Effective pain management is predicated on a continuous cycle of screening, assessing, intervening and evaluating. Identifying gaps in nurses’ self-perceived pain assessment competencies is an essential first step in the design of tailored interventions to embed effective pain assessment into routine clinical practice, and improve patient reported pain outcomes. Yet, few validated instruments focus on the competencies required for undertaking a comprehensive pain assessment, with most focusing on clinician's pain management competencies. Aim: To examine the validity of the ‘Self-Perceived Pain Assessment Knowledge and Confidence’ (Self-PAC) Scale. Design: Preliminary instrument validation. Setting: Two Australian cancer and palliative care services. Participants/Subjects: 186 cancer and palliative care nurses. Methods: The Self-PAC Scale was administered to participants online. Factor Analyses, including Exploratory and Confirmatory, were applied to examine the structural validity, Cronbach's alpha was calculated for internal consistency. Criterion validity was investigated by comparing responses from experienced and non-experienced nurses. Results: Two components resulted with a single factor structure for pain assessment confidence and a two-factor structure for the knowledge of pain assessment. The factor loading for the subscales ranged from 0.653 to 0.969, with large proportions of the variances explained by the factors. Cronbach's alpha of the subscales ranged from 0.87-0.92 and significant difference in responses were found between experienced and non-experienced nurses. Conclusion: Preliminary validation of the Self-PAC Scale suggests that it is a helpful instrument for assessing cancer and palliative care nurse’ pain assessment competencies.
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