Preoperative Pain Management Education: A Quality Improvement Project

Katherine F. O'Donnell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


The management of pain is one of the greatest clinical challenges for nurses who care for patients during the postoperative period. It can be even more challenging for patients who must manage their own pain after discharge from the health care facility. Research shows that postoperative pain continues to be undermanaged despite decades of education and evidence-based guidelines. Ineffective management of postoperative pain can negatively impact multiple patient outcomes. The purpose of this quality improvement project was to evaluate the effectiveness of a preoperative pain management patient education intervention on improving patients' postoperative pain management outcomes. The project was conducted with patients undergoing same-day laparoscopic cholecystectomy in an outpatient general surgery service at a teaching institution. Patients in the intervention and comparison groups completed the American Pain Society Patient Outcome Questionnaire-Revised during their first postoperative clinic visit 2 weeks after surgery. Results showed that patients who received the preoperative education intervention reported less severe pain during the first 24 hours postoperatively, experienced fewer and less severe pain medication side effects, returned to normal activities sooner, and used more nonpharmacologic pain management methods postoperatively compared with those who did not receive the education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)221-227
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Perianesthesia Nursing
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015


  • Pain management outcomes
  • Patient education
  • Postoperative pain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medical–Surgical


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