Assignment: Pain is Multidimensional

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Assignment: Pain is Multidimensional

Assignment: Pain is Multidimensional

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the client’s

perspective in the design and delivery of

care, and to create a sacred space for

carrying out the holistic caring process

thwarts achievement of the mutually sought

after goal of healing. By embracing the

broader and deeper view of care offered by

the theory of integral nursing, the nurse and

client collaborate in the development of

trusting relationships as they intentionally

strive to improve client outcomes and

ultimately enhance client, nurse, and

provider satisfaction with care.


Pain management has remained enigmatic

for clients and healthcare professionals for

decades. When caring for clients, pain is the

most common symptom for which nurses

need to intervene, yet it continues to be one

for which they may be least prepared to

successfully mediate (Lui, So, & Fong,

2008; Montes-Sandoval, 1999; Wilson,

2007). Pain is a multidimensional,

subjective phenomenon and experience.

As such, the meaning and impact of any

pain experience differs for each client,

family member, nurse, and provider. Many

definitions of pain have surfaced over

the last four decades and offer multiple

interventions to alleviate clients’ pain. At the

2007 council meeting for the International

Association for the Study of Pain (IASP),

in Koyoto, Japan, the council confirmed its

1992 definition of pain as “…an unpleasant

sensory and emotional experience

associated with actual or potential tissue

damage, or described in terms of such

damage” (www.iasp-pain-org). In its

monograph on understanding, assessing,

and treating pain, the American Pain Society

supports both the IASP definition of pain

and McCaffery’s definition of pain as

“…whatever the experiencing person says

it is, existing whenever s/he says it does”

(APS, 2006, p. 4; McCaffery & Passero,

1999, p. 17). While the IASP definition

has been described as the most widely used

definition of pain, McCaffery’s definition

has gained substantial support over the past

30 years and is widely used in clinical

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