Module 3: Assessment

Lesson 2

Epidemiology of acute pain

Because everyone experiences acute pain, estimating the incidence and prevalence of acute pain in a given population requires additional specifications  of the condition and the severity of pain.

NPs are likely to be involved in the treatment of acute pain following trauma or surgery. There is a paucity of evidence on the incidence and characteristics of postoperative pain. It does, however vary by type of procedure, postoperative day (POD), gender, age, and activity status during assessment (rest, active).

In a report on 2,208 post operative patients, the incidence of moderate postoperative pain at rest was 21% (POD1) to 13% (POD3) and with activity 53% (POD1) to 39% (POD3).  The incidence of severe postoperative pain at rest was 7.6% (POD1) to 3.7% (POD3) and with activity 28% (POD1) to 15% (POD3) (Goldstein, Wilson, & VanDenKerkhof, 2007).