Pain management in the critically ill is a challenge and a problem of great concern for critical care nurses. The authors review research on pain in the areas of pain assessment, nurses’ knowledge and attitudes, pharmacologic interventions, and nonpharmacologic interventions for the management of pain. Although the research base is not completely developed in the critically ill population, implications for practice are provided, based upon the findings in populations akin to the critically ill. Strategies are outlined for achieving improved pain control in critical care units through education, adoption of standards on pain management, and quality improvement activities

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