Assessing Resident Knowledge of Acute Pain Management in Hospitalized Children: A Pilot Study

John M. Saroyan, William S. Schechter, Mary E. Tresgallo, Lena Sun, Zoon Naqvi, Mark J. Graham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


This pilot study was undertaken to evaluate the hypotheses that there are differences in pediatric pain management (PPM) knowledge across resident specialties, that questions in the form of multiple-choice items could detect such differences, and that resident knowledge of analgesic-related adverse drug events (ADEs) would be greater than knowledge of PPM. Questions were based on two general categories of knowledge within acute pain management in hospitalized children: pediatric pain assessment and treatment, and identification of analgesic-related ADEs. As part of the pilot nature of this study, a convenience sample of 60 residents completed a 10-item PPM knowledge assessment prior to a PPM lecture. Twenty-six were pediatric residents (43%), 19 were orthopedic residents (32%), and 15 were anesthesiology residents (25%). All items had content validity. When controlling for resident year, performance by resident specialty was significantly different between anesthesia and orthopedics (P = 0.006) and between anesthesia and pediatrics (P < 0.001). Resident knowledge of analgesic-related ADEs was not greater than knowledge of PPM. The most difficult topics were opioid equianalgesia, assessment of the cognitively impaired child, and maximal acetaminophen doses. Repeated administration of the PPM knowledge assessment at multiple institutions will allow further evaluation of our initial findings, and with directed educational interventions, provide opportunity for measurement of improvement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)628-638
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Pain and Symptom Management
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Pediatric pain management
  • knowledge assessment
  • resident education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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