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Da In Lee 1 Article
Differences in nurses’ perceptions of self-reported pain and the administered morphine dose according to the patient’s facial expression in Korea  
Jeong Yun Park, Da In Lee
J Educ Eval Health Prof. 2020;17:38.   Published online December 1, 2020
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3352/jeehp.2020.17.38
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AbstractAbstract PDFSupplementary Material
Purpose
This study aimed to compare nurses’ perceptions of self-reported pain, the recorded pain score, and pain treatment according to the patient’s facial expression.
Methods
In this descriptive cross-sectional survey, the participants were 472 nurses working at a tertiary hospital in Seoul, Korea. A self-report questionnaire presented nurses with a smiling patient complaining of acute post-surgical pain and a grimacing patient with cancer pain, both of whom reported a pain level of 8 out of 10, and asked nurses to indicate their perception of the pain intensity, the pain score that they would record, and the medication that they would provide for each patient.
Results
The pain intensity perceived by nurses for the grimacing patient was significantly higher than that for the smiling patient (P<0.001). The recorded pain score was likewise significantly higher for the grimacing patient than for the smiling patient (P<0.001). There was a significant difference in the amount of morphine chosen by the nurses for pain interventions between the smiling and grimacing patients (P=0.040). Higher perceived pain intensity and score were associated with higher administered doses of morphine.
Conclusion
These findings suggest that nurses might be affected by patients’ facial expressions when treating pain. A pain management program should be developed that trains nurses to accurately recognize pain hidden in patients’ faces and provides them with the knowledge of how to appropriately assess and manage patients’ pain.

JEEHP : Journal of Educational Evaluation for Health Professions