Pain is a complex and multidimensional phenomenon that is subjective and unique to each individual. Pain is difficult to describe and often hard to measure; however, most healthcare professionals agree that pain is whatever the patient describes it to be. Pain is one of the most frequently used nursing diagnosis and is the most common problem for which patients in the clinical setting seek help (Cheng, Foster, & Huang, 2003). Unrelieved pain can have a profound impact on the lives of both the patient and his or her family members. The subjective nature of pain makes pain difficult to assess; therefore, many patients do not receive adequate relief. The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO), has recognized pain as a "major, yet largely avoidable, public health problem" (JCAHO, 1999, para. 1) for which the organization has "developed standards that create new expectations for the assessment and management of pain in accredited hospitals and other health care settings" (JCAHO, 1999, para. 1). These new standards make it essential for healthcare personnel to acquire a better understanding of the concept of pain.
The concept of pain is often inadequately defined. A concept analysis of pain would benefit nurses and other health providers and enable these individuals to achieve a better understanding of what pain is and how pain impacts patient care. The purpose of this concept analysis is to clarify the defining attributes of pain, identify factors that influence the perception of pain, and provide a clear understanding of the term pain. The 11 step concept analysis method described by Wilson will be used to (a) identify isolating questions of the concept of pain, (b) identifying the right answers or essential uses of the concept, (c) provide an example of a model case, (d) describe the social context of the concept of pain, (e) discuss underlying anxiety related to the concept of pain, (f) discuss practical... [continues]
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