Postoperative pain therapy: a survey of patients' expectations and their experiences

Harry Owen, Virginia McMillan, Dianne Rogowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

172 Citations (Scopus)


For 2 months elective surgical patients (n = 259) were asked preoperatively about their expectations of pain and pain relief. At both 24 and 72 h after their surgery they were asked about their pain and pain control. The analgesics they received were monitored for the first 72 h. The survey revealed that patients do not have the necessary knowledge about pain relief to contribute effectively in their own pain management. Analgesics administered intermittenly were generally effective when given, however, the dosing interval was too long for the agents used resulting in frequent reports of poor pain relief. We conclude that patients need better education on postoperative pain control therapy. Medical staff could prescribe, and nursing staff administer, analgesics more effectively.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)303-307
Number of pages5
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1990
Externally publishedYes


  • Pain expectations
  • Pain management
  • Pain relief
  • Postoperative pain therapy


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