Research Article Analysis Discussion

Research Article Analysis Discussion


“Identifying barriers to pain management in long-term care” is a seven-page journal article that explores nurses’ perspective concerning how to optimize pain management in long term care. The authors acknowledge that the subjective nature of pain management makes it difficult to standardize care approaches, a concern since as much as 80% of patients receiving long-term care experience chronic pain. In addition, the article mentions that barriers to effective pain management can be categorized into three themes as either caregiver-related, patient-related, and organization-related barriers. To address the mentioned concerned, the article determined to identify the specific barriers using the three themes from nurses’ perspective. At the conclusion of the study, the author anticipated that strategies would be developed to target the identified barriers with the intention of improving pain management outcomes for long-term care (Egan & Cornally, 2013). Research Article Analysis Discussion


Research Question

Although the article does not explicitly mention the research question, it is implied in the research aim. The question can be presented as: “What is the nursing perspective on the barriers to optimal pain management in long-term care?” This is an appropriate question since it acknowledges that nursing personnel have valuable insight on these barriers and can use their professional experience and knowledge to advance the discussion. In fact, given that nursing personnel are primary care givers, it is not hard to imagine that they can present important insight to answer the research question. In answering the question, the study is expected to present practical opportunities for improving pain management in long-term care (Egan & Cornally, 2013).

Design of the Study

The research use a quantitative, cross-section, descriptive design to collect primary data. The design sought to collect the nurses’ opinion concerning the barriers to optimal pain management in long-term care. This involved identifying nursing participants then subjecting them to self-reporting questionnaires to collect primary data. The questions are presented as multiple choices to ensure that an accurate perspective is collected. Finally, the collected data was subjected to statistical analysis that presented counts, percentages, mean and standard deviation. SPSS software version 20.0 for Windows was used to conduct the statistical analysis. The analysis noted the specific barriers with regards to the three themes of caregiver-related, patient-related, and organization-related barriers (Egan & Cornally, 2013). The study design can be considered appropriate. That is because it allowed the researchers to gain access to the population of interest and collect primary data as true measures of the variables to identify the barriers as intended (Bryman & Bell, 2015). Research Article Analysis Discussion

Sample/Population of the Study

The study recruited a sample of 83 participants who were all practicing registered nurses working with older people in long-term care. The participants were working in three public and two private facilities, but did not include assisted living facilities. The convenience sampling strategy with the participants recruited from many sites to reduce the possibility of collecting atypical values that would influence the results. Using data from many sites also enhanced the results generalizability and increased the collected data variability (Egan & Cornally, 2013). The study sample is appropriate since it was composed of the population of interest that would provide the required data. Also, the sample size appears to be adequate to facilitate response variation and results generalizability (Whitley, Kite & Adams, 2012).

Data Collection Methods

Data was collected using a self-report questionnaire as the instrument. The questionnaires veracity was guaranteed since it was adopted from a previous study. The questionnaire was presented in two sections. The first section asked questions about barriers to pain management while the second section collected the participants’ demographic information. Although the article does not mention whether or not the participants were recruited using coercion or if it was voluntary, the presence of institutional ethical approval is an indication that participation was voluntary. This implies that the collected information offers truthful and honest opinion since it was not collected through coercion (Egan & Cornally, 2013).


Although the study limitations are not mentioned in the article, one of them is apparent. The participants were subjected to the questionnaire at a single time rather than collecting information over a longer period of time. This creates the possibility that the data collection is likely to have overlooked some important aspects that may have informed the research results. There is a possibility that some of the required information may have been overlooked with the nurses forgetting some of the required information. As such, periodically collecting data more than once would be more appropriate in ensuring that all the required information is collected (Bryman & Bell, 2015).



The study recruited 83 participants of which 79 were females while 4 were males. 52 were employed on fulltime, 27 on regular part-time, and 3 occasionally. There highest level of education ranged from certificate to MSc in diploma. 72% of them had pain management education while 28% did not have pain management education. There ages ranged from 20 years to beyond 60 years. The study noted that patient-related barriers are the most significant in optimal pain management, particularly pain assessment difficulties owing to cognition problems, age-based inability to communicate and complete pain scales, and sensory impairment (Egan & Cornally, 2013). The results are credible since they rely on primary data that has been collected using a methodology that can be replicated. Based on the research results, it is clear that long-term care should apply targeted approaches to address patient-related barriers to optimize pain management outcomes in long-term care. Research Article Analysis Discussion

Summary of the Article

The article presents the results of a primary study that sought to identify the nursing perspective on the barriers to optimal pain management in long-term care. The study applied a quantitative, cross-sectional descriptive design that recruited 83 nursing participants from long-term care facilities. The participants were subjected to self-report questionnaires that collected their opinions. The results noted that patient-related barriers are the most significant in optimal pain management, particularly pain assessment difficulties owing to cognition problems, age-based inability to communicate and complete pain scales, and sensory impairment. The study made the recommendation that a targeted approach should be applied to address patient-related barriers to optimize pain management outcomes in long-term care.


Bryman, A. & Bell, E. (2015). Business Research Methods (4th ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Egan, M. & Cornally, N. (2013). Identifying barriers to pain management in long-term care. Nursing Older People, 25(7), 25-31.

Whitley, B., Kite, M. & Adams, H. (2012). Principles of Research in Behavioral Science (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Routledge.


Research Article Analysis Discussion

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