According to Gehdoo (2004), medical practitioners have historically undertreated children for pain and painful procedures on the assumption that they do not feel the pain or that they forget the painful experiences faster than adults do.
Gehdoo (2004) further adds that it is absolutely necessary for children to be given an effective pain therapy before and after surgery and as such, it has become an integral part of paediatric practice. The research will seek to find out if preoperative education does in fact decrease postoperative pain scores in paediatric patients.
Data collection Methods
Like in social sciences, medicine employs the use of simple data collection methods like direct interviews. The basic collection methods in medicine are the interviews and conversations doctors carry out with their patients.
Triangulation is also valuable in medical research but considering the age of the patients and the subtlety of the research, its not very applicable (Abramson et al, 1999). In this case, data will be collected from children on all trials that are conducted with them during their pre and post counselling sessions. Most important here will be the collection of data using the “cold probe” technique.
This will involve collecting data during the first session that paediatric surgeons will have with the patients. The first session when the cold probe is conducted is good because the child will be fresh from surgery hence easier for behaviour analysis to determine if preoperative education did help.
Multiple-choice questions will be used in this case. Norman (2002) contends that multiple-choice questions in medical research help in allowing straightforward sampling of the subject under research. The questions will help researchers to fairly and evenly distribute their probe thought the subject under study.
They are also efficient in terms of cost and time. Given that patients will have mixed feelings, multiple-choice questions are better placed to capture all data in totality. Norman (2002) adds that they maximize the information attained per unit time in research. Again, the questions are more engaging and will make it easier for patients to express themselves on the subject being discussed.
Method of Data Analysis
Descriptive statistics will be used in this research. According to Lang & Secic (2006), descriptive statistics are useful because they help in reducing large amounts of data to small descriptive measures. The experiences that these children will go through will be captured through interviews structured to bring out the descriptive element.
Though inferential statics may come in handy, their absolute necessity is diminished by the nature of the research. Summary that is guaranteed from descriptive statistics will especially precision in reporting the findings.
According to Swanwick (2007), evaluation in medicine is the collection analysis and interpretation of information about any aspect in medicine. In this kind of research, Kirkpatrick’s Hierarchy and Evaluation Cycle methods come in handy. However, the evaluation cycle method will be used.
The method suits this research since it is all encompassing starting with planning of the activity, preparation, teaching and learning of the activity and most importantly reflection and analysis.
However, the Kirkpatrick method may be used as well in analysing this data if necessary. This is because it takes to account the completion of learning or participation of a patient in a program which applies to this research. Its use will be limited though.
Morton, N.S. (2005). Management of postoperative pain in children. Arch Dis Child Educ Pract Ed 2007; vol. 92:ep14-ep19.
Morton outlines various principles that he believes if followed will help in reducing preoperative pan in children. According to him, medical practitioners need to recognise that children feel pain during surgery hence they need to put in place measure to minimise and moderate it. According to him, doctors need to prevent pain where it is predictable, control the pain and continue controlling it even after discharge from hospital.
On a larger scale, some of the approaches he recommends in reducing preoperative pain in children. Individualised child centre approach, using the least invasive techniques for he anticipated level of pain, matching technique complexity of surgery and holistic care of emotional and physical attributes of pain.
Some of the techniques he advises be used in pre and postoperative pan management include local and regional anaesthesia, systemic analgesia non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and the use of paracetamol. He concludes that an integrated use of the above methods and principles in the past has proven successful in reducing pain in paediatric surgery.
Abramson, H.J. (1999). Abramson Survey methods in community medicine: epidemiological research, programme Evaluation Clinical Trials. London: Elsevier Limited.
Gehdoo, R. P. (2004) Postoperative pain management in Pediatric patients. Indian J. Anaesth. 2004; 48 (5) :406-414
Lang, A.T. & Secic, M. (2006). How to report statistics in medicine: annotated guidelines for authors. New York: Tom Hartman.
Norman, R.G. (2006). International handbook of research in medical education. London: Kluwer Academic Publishers.
Morton, N.S. (2005). Management of postoperative pain in children. Arch Dis Child
Educ Pract Ed 2007; vol. 92:ep14-ep19.
Swanwick, T. (2007). Understanding Medical Education: Evidence, Theory and Practice. Oxford UK: John Wiley & Sons.