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Grounded theory
Nurses experience feelings of disempowerment when caring for patients in severe pain
  1. Rob Monks
  1. University of Central Lancashire, School of Health, Preston, Lancashire, UK
  1. Correspondence to : Dr Rob Monks, University of Central Lancashire, School of Health, 439 Brook Building, Preston, Lancashire PR1 2HE, UK; rmonks{at}

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Implications for practice and research

  • Protocols are required to enhance nurses’ lines of power when caring for patients in pain. This includes triggering a critical incidence when nurses struggle to control a patient's pain, thus mobilising senior medical staff and pain specialists to the patient's bedside.

  • Whether triggering a critical incidence in this context results in better pain care needs further evaluation.


Patients admitted to hospital wards usually require some degree of pain management. However, pain care for patients in hospital setting continues to be problematic.1 Many studies to date have focused on how nurses assess and manage pain in various patient groups. …

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  • Competing interests None declared.