The measurement of procedural burn pain and anxiety in paediatric burns : the new BOPAS method

Doctoral Thesis


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University of Cape Town

The assessment of pain and anxiety in South Africa is complicated by language barriers, cultural differences, socio-economic difficulties and delayed cognitive development. The high number of paediatric burn injuries (annually 2000) treated at the Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital, the need to accurately assess pain and drug efficacy and the current lack of specifically designed methods to do so, led to the development of the Burn Observational Pain and Anxiety Scale (BOPAS). This scale is believed to be the first of its kind and was designed to measure both pain and anxiety in burned children. The aim of this study was: - To develop an observational pain and anxiety scale that can overcome ianguage barriers by excluding patient involvement in the assessment process. - To develop a scale that can differentiate between pain and anxiety during wound care procedures. - To develop a method that facilitates the translation of nominai information into numerical data. - To develop a scale that can evaluate drug and dose efficacy. A total of 105 chiidren, (M = 65, F = 40) aged 2-12 (average age 6.8 years), admitted for minor to moderate burn injuries to the Burns Unit of the Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital, were included in the sample. Five different consecutive studies varying between explorative and quasi-experimental were conducted to determine different levels of validity and reliability.

Includes bibliographical references.