Quality and impact of nurse-initiated analgesia in the emergency department: A systematic review

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Journal Article
International Emergency Nursing, 2018, 40 pp. 46 - 53
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© 2018 Elsevier Ltd Aim: This paper reports a systematic literature review evaluating the impact and quality of pain management associated with nurse initiated analgesia in patients presenting to the emergency department (ED). Background: Pain is a major presenting complaint for individuals attending the ED. Timely access to effective analgesia continues to be a global concern in the ED setting; emergency nurses are optimally positioned to improve detection and management of pain. Design: Systematic review. Databases and data treatment: Four databases – CINAHL, EMBASE, Medline, ProQuest – the Cochrane Library and the National Institute of Clinical Excellence were searched from date of inception to December 2017; with no language restrictions applied. Studies were identified using predetermined inclusion criteria. Data were extracted and summarised and underwent evaluation using published valid criteria. Results: Twelve articles met inclusion, comprising a wide range of analgesics and administration routes to manage mild to severe pain. Overall study quality was high; 7 studies included a form of comparison group. Patient outcome measures included time to analgesia (n = 12; 100%), change in pain score (n = 6; 50.0%); adverse events (n = 6; 50.0%); patient satisfaction (n = 5; 41.7%) and documenting pain assessment (n = 2; 16.7%). Conclusion: Nurse-initiated analgesia was associated with safe, timely and effective pain relief.
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