Identification of Neonatal Infant Pain Assessment Tools as a Possibility of Their Application in Clinical Practice in Croatia: An Integrative Literature Review
Bošković, S. and Ličen, S.
OBJECTIVES: This article presents an integrative review of the literature with the aim of identifying instruments already in existence for measuring neonatal infant pain with a view to exploring possibilities of applying them in clinical practice in Croatia.
DESIGN: An integrative review.
DATA SOURCES: The databases searched included MEDLINE, Cinahl Cochrane Library, and Science Direct. The search was limited to available full-text articles in English published between 1990 and 2020. The studies were selected according to the PRISMA strategy and evaluated based on the methodologic framework proposed by Whittemore and Knafl. REVIEW/
ANALYSIS METHODS: The research identified 13 scales for assessing pain in neonatal infants, including 5 one-dimensional and 8 multidimensional scales that assess acute and prolonged pain in preterm and full-term infants.
RESULTS: Overall, the articles in this review confirm that pain is a multidimensional phenomenon and that professionals should consider other specific characteristics of the neonatal infant population while measuring pain.
CONCLUSIONS: Our review showed that various tools exist assessing pain in neonatal infants that could be used in clinical practice in Croatia. However, it is difficult to determine the most appropriate instrument at this stage, as the choice depends on various factors that still need to be considered. The decision on which pain scale to use or which is more appropriate should be based on further psychometric tests, its accuracy, and ease of use.