Research: HE and co-workers,

Listed in Issue 138


HE and co-workers, Department of Nursing Science, University of Kuopio, PO Box 1627, FIN-70211 Kuopio, Finland,, have studied the use of traditional Chinese methods for pain relief in children after surgery.


Parental participation in paediatric postoperative care is common in China. However, the knowledge is limited on what methods parents use to relieve their children’s postoperative pain in hospital. The aim of this study was to describe what non-pharmacological methods parents use to relieve their children’s postoperative pain and factors related to this.


A survey was conducted in five provincial hospitals in Fujian, China, in 2004. 206 parents whose children had undergone operations were asked to complete questionnaires concerning nonpharmacological methods for children’s pain relief.


The response rate was 88%. The most commonly used methods were emotional support strategies, helping with daily activities, distraction and imagery. Breathing technique was the method used least frequently. Fathers and parents who were older, more educated, employed and with earlier hospitalization experience with their children used pain alleviation methods more frequently than mothers and parents without these characteristics. Moreover, parents used some methods more frequently with boys, younger children, as well as children admitted for elective operations, with longer duration of hospitalization and with moderate or severe pain. Parents utilized various nonpharmacological methods for children’s pain relief, especially those easy to use.


This study may serve to focus healthcare providers’efforts on educating parents with respect to various non-pharmacological pain relief methods available for postoperative pain and highlight parents’ need to be aware of their role in their children’s pain management.


He HG, Polkki T, Pietila AM, Vehvilainen-Julkunen K. Chinese parent’s use of nonpharmacological methods in children’s postoperative pain relief. Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences 20 (1): 2-9, Mar 2006.

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