Center for Advanced Practice


The Prevalence, Intensity, Assessment, and Management of Acute Pain in Hospitalized Children in Botswana.

Publication Title

Pain management nursing : official journal of the American Society of Pain Management Nurses

Document Type


PubMed ID



BACKGROUND: There is very limited clinical and observational data on acute pain experienced by children in sub-Saharan Africa.

AIMS: To report the prevalence and intensity of acute pain, pain management practices, and describe associations between acute pain outcomes, children's and parents or guardian's demographics in hospitalized children aged 2 months to 13 years in Botswana.

DESIGN: A descriptive correlational prospective observational study using five repeated cross-sectional samples.

SETTINGS: Two referral hospitals in Botswana.

PARTICIPANTS: The sample size included 308 children and 226 parents or guardians. Data were collected between November 2018 and February 2019 from children, their parents or guardians (child), and the health record for pain documentation and treatment.

MEASURES: Pain was measured using Faces Pain Scale-Revised for children ≥7 years, revised Face, Legs, Activity, Cry, Consolability scale for childrenguardians.

RESULTS: There are 1,290 data points for children of which 1,000 were childrenFace, Legs, Activity, Cry, Consolability scale, whereas parents indicated 46% to be in pain. The pain prevalence for children ≥7 years was estimated at 54%. Pain was documentated at a rate of 54 % on the health records. Acetaminophen was most common analgesic across all age groups. Univariate associations of child(p ≤ .05) for weight, diagnosis, residence, and parent relationship. Parents reported pain intensity was statistically significant (p ≤ .05) for child sex, weight, diagnosis, residence, surgery, parent or guardian age and education. Only age and surgery were significant for children ≥7 years.

CONCLUSIONS: Acute pain prevalence and intensity among hospitalized children in Botswana is low.


Acute Pain Management, Botswana, Cross-Sectional Studies



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