Pain management is the top priority of health facilities because of the accreditation standards of the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations for 2001 (Kay & Horenstein, 2004). Patients refer to various treatment methods to reduce pain in addition to the conventional pharmacology. Non-pharmacological methods include the complementary or alternative medicine (CAM) (Kay & Horenstein, 2004). However, not all healthcare providers are familiar CAM methods. The paper under review therefore sought to address the issue of patient perception of pain, their convictions about the management of pain using pharmacological methods, and the use of CAM methods. The paper also assessed their satisfaction with pain management methods. The researchers used convenience sampling to interview 137 patients in a hospital in the South East of the United States. The researchers administered questionnaires verbally. The questionnaires had both open ended and close-ended questions that had a rating system of 0-10. The researchers used Chi-square statistics to analyze the non-parametric data. The main finding of the research was that patients who use CAM options in their treatment range from six to thirty four percent. In addition, distraction is the most commonly used CAM method, achieved by watching television and reading (Helme & Gibson, 2001).
The main issue of the article is pain management. The researchers sought to study how patients deal with pain bearing in mind that pain management is a vital component of healthcare. The researchers observed that there are several barriers to pain management that include fear of addiction to pain killers from both patients and physicians, cultural barriers, and lack of knowledge. The gist of the paper is that the expectations and use of pain management techniques vary depending on the expectations of the patient, the fears of both physicians and patients, and lack of knowledge. The main finding was that about seven to thirty four percent of all patients use non-pharmacological CAM options for pain management. The researchers stress that pain management is an important aspect of medical care. If patients are able to keep pain at a minimum during treatment, then they usually have a better experience during recovery.
The researchers reviewed literature from various sources in order to determine the relevant issues in the project. The researchers found literature relating to the thematic areas of the project. These areas include barriers to pain management such as cultural factors, communication barriers, and attitudes towards CAM. The thematic areas also included the benefits of pain management in patient care, and the benefits of CAM in pain management.
Hypothesis, Variables and Data Collection
While the researchers did not explicitly state the hypothesis for their work, it is possible to deduce the following elements from their hypothesis. First, the researchers believed that there was value in pain management during recovery. The literature they reviewed showed that they believed that there is a cost due to pain in terms of finances and comfort. Therefore, it is possible to deduce that the hypothesis of the researchers included the fact that CAM contributes to towards pain management during pain management in health care facilities. The second element of the hypothesis used by the researchers in this project was the presence of barriers in the process of pain management. This comes from references to issues such as culture, language barrier, and fear as contributors to ineffective pain management using CAM. Therefore, the hypothesis of the researchers was that CAM pain management contributes towards patient care.
In order to determine the variables in this research project, it is important to take a second look at the research objectives. The researchers were interested in determining the patients’ perception of pain. They were also studying the belief patterns of patients regarding the use of various pain management techniques, and their satisfaction with the pain management techniques in use in the hospital (Kay & Horenstein, 2004). The first independent variable in this case was the access and use of pain management techniques. This was the main independent variable that determined eligibility in the research. The second independent variable was the experience of pain itself. For people to participate in the survey, the experience of pain was a prerequisite. The dependent variables in this survey were the degree of pain experienced, and the attitudes developed based on the pain management approaches used by the patients. The degree of pain was important because each patient has a unique experience when it comes to pain. The degree and nature of pain has a correlation to the nature of pain management techniques embraced by each patient.
The researchers used both qualitative and quantitative data in the development of this research project (Corson, Heath, & Bryant, 2000). The intention of using a semi-structured questionnaire was to ensure that the researchers captured useful data based on personal perceptions. For instance, there is no way of measuring pain except by relying on indications by patients. In addition, pain levels change depending on interventions and the intensity of the causative factor. The design of the questionnaire allowed the researchers to capture the subjective information in a calculable manner. The data collection took place in the wards. The researchers preselected potential respondents and then used convenience sampling to determine the final respondents chosen to participate in the survey. The researchers used a questionnaire to collect responses from the patients based on a verbal interview. After the manual filling of questionnaires, the researchers then keyed-in the data in a spreadsheet.
The researchers used two statistical techniques. The first one was the analysis of variance (ANOVA). This analysis made it possible for the researchers to determine that that there was no statistically significant correlation between aspects such as gender, race, and ethnicity in the sample to overall satisfaction with pain management (Kay & Horenstein, 2004). In addition, there was no correlation between satisfaction with pain management and the length of stay in the hospital.
Apart from the use of ANOVA, the researchers also used the Chi Square. These applications of descriptive statistics made it possible for the researchers to develop a proper appreciation of the issues under investigation.
Statistical Methods and Analysis
The analysis of the work closely followed the stated objectives of the paper. First, the researchers determined the pain levels that the patients involved in the study experienced. This analysis of the pain experienced by patients involved computation of average figures based on the 0-10 point scale. The second matter analyzed by the researchers was patient expectations. Based on the questions dealing with patient expectations, the researchers found that some patients expected to benefit from conventional pain management techniques, while some expected non-pharmacological methods to come into play. A fraction of the patients expected to benefit from both pharmacological and non-pharmacological methods. The researchers also reported on their findings in regards to complimentary techniques for pain management. They found that the most commonly used was distraction. The researchers also reported on several aspects of satisfaction in relation to pain management.
The analysis emanated from the research objectives. Therefore, the findings related directly to the research objectives of the project. The researchers used further literature to validate their findings, and to show how the findings related to existing literature. This purpose of this exercise was to contextualize the findings and to determine their fit within the existing body of knowledge.
The analysis of the research paper has been useful for developing a good understanding of a research project. A research project has several sections and each of them calls for different skills. It also requires the researcher to make several decisions associated to the research design to meet a scientific criterion (Helme & Gibson, 2001). For instance, it is important to determine the research objectives and to use these objectives to develop a hypothesis. This influences the development of research tools and the choice of research methods. Another important aspect of the process is the actual data collection. The collection of data required the identification of the correct respondents and making arrangements necessary for meeting the respondents. This analysis also helped in the development of an appreciation of the role of literature, not just for preparing for a project, but also for validating findings and establishig the relevance of the findings of a project in relation to existing knowledge.
Corson, D., Heath, R. L., & Bryant, J. (2000). Human Communication Theory and Research: Concepts, Context, and Challenges (2nd ed.). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.
Helme, R. D., & Gibson, S. J. (2001). The Epidemiology of Pain in Elderly People. Clinics in Geriatric Medicine , 17 (3), 417-31.
Kay, T., & Horenstein, L. S. (2004). Patient’s Perceptions of Pain Mangement and Use of Coping Strategies. Hospital Topics , 10-22.