Nursing Courseworks Paper on Concept Analysis Relating To Nursing

Concept Analysis Relating To Nursing: Pain Concept Analysis

Identification of concept and purpose of its analysis

Pain is one of the most common problems for which patients seek help from clinical settings and one of the diagnoses nurses make frequently. It generally refers to a feeling that is distressful, unpleasant, and uncomfortable, which can affect a person’s quality of life. Pain can lead to both emotional and physical effects, have an impact on families and also increase health care costs for an individual and society. Pain is therefore a critical issue in the health care system. The purpose of this analysis is to provide a comprehensive understanding of concept of pain. The analysis clarifies pain’s defining attributes, help in identifying antecedents that influence pain perception and consequences that are likely to result from pain (McCaffrey and Ferrell, 2007).

Definitions the concept from various sources

The general definitions of pain from the Oxford English Dictionary are that pain is; a sensation either in body or mind experienced after a person is hurt; distress, suffering, or unpleasant feeling; particularly to physical and psychical senses it is either body or mental suffering or sorrow (Portenoy and Hagen, 2010). In medicine pain has been defined as distress, agony and suffering feelings that result from specialized nerve endings stimulation. Its intention is mainly to protect since it provides a warning that there is damage of tissues making the one experiencing it to withdraw or remove the source of pain. According to the philosophical perspective, pain can be defined as unpleasant as well as physiological stimuli and a feeling that is emotional. In this case, the mind or soul is involved in pain perception (Portenoy and Hagen, 2010). There are also four main theoretical discussions of pain that include pattern theory; psychological or behavioral theory; gate control theory and specificity theory. Generally, the theoretical definition of pain derived from the mentioned theories is that physiological stimulus is involved in pain. However, the resulting pain behavior is not determined by the presence of physiological stimulus. In order to view pain as a complete concept, cognitive evaluation emotional, cultural, environmental, and psychological factors should be considered. Pain can therefore be defined as individual experiences and feelings that have both negative and positive functions. It helps in indicating the presence of severe discomfort or uncomfortable sensations which depend on physical stimulus (Portenoy and Hagen, 2010).

The phenomenon as it occurs in nursing and other disciplines

The concept of pain is mostly applied in nursing to diagnose ailments and as a treating aid. Patients usually provide verbal reports of their painful experiences indicating the parts of their bodies that are causing them discomfort because of the pain. They also display certain facial and body expressions that show the intensity of the pain they are having which may be due to potential or actual tissue damage. Pain concept is also experienced in other disciplines such as sociology and in everyday experiences because people are always being affected by their environment, personal issues as well as the culture they live in both physically or emotionally leading to some painful experiences (McCaffrey and Ferrell, 2007).

In the case of sociology, pain can be emphasized in people’s cultural inheritances that affect their altitude towards pain. In this case, experiences in pain do not only include the painful sensations but also specific states of associated feelings. People’s response to pain depends on particular social situations and cultural backgrounds, for instance people belonging to higher social classes are believed to be more aware of their pain than those in the lower social classes are. From these observations pain concepts antecedents include the cultural, environmental and cultural values that determine the responses of an individual which may be either verbal or non verbal and which result to different outcomes such as seeking medical attention or bringing together members of the same community (McCaffrey and Ferrell, 2007).

Empirical and theoretical literature review on the selected concept

In this review, the reliable indicators of pain include the client’s verbal reports about their uncomfortable and unpleasant experiences. However, these verbal reports may not be adequate in all situations and other methods can be used to evaluate pain. Pain can be evaluated through intensity, quality and its location. Behavioral indicators that can be applied in measurement of pain also include crying, movement avoidance or restlessness as well as muscle tone alterations (Merboth and Barnason, 2009).

The antecedents, defining criteria and outcomes that you derived from this process

The antecedents from the observation related to pain concept include the cultural, environmental and personal values. The three of them interrelated in that the environments have a relationship with events that trigger pain, the personal issues such as a person’s present emotional and physical condition, gender, personality and their social economic class. Culture determines how a group of people live and the kind of believes they share. Culture can therefore determine how people respond to pain through the attitudes partly learned from parents, siblings, and other groups of people of the society an individual comes from. The consequences that arise from the pain concept include; an individual’s reaction to pain (McCaffrey and Ferrell, 2007).  

Description of Model

An example of a hypothetical model outcome is about a 45 year old man diagnosed with colon cancer a few years ago. It has recently been found that his tumor has become enlarged which has made his doctor advise him to have a surgery leading to his hospitalization so as to remove the tumor. During a check-up by the nursing student assigned to take care of him, she finds him lying on his right side with his arms held close to his chest. His knees bent; eyebrows furrowed and appearing very tired. Although he is cooperative as the nursing student talks to him he keeps his eyes closed, his blood pressure and heart rate were also a bit high.

The case presents all pain attributes from his facial expressions and protective position. He shows the pain is distressing and unpleasant both verbally and by behavioral responses. The surgery necessitated by the colon cancer is an evidence of damaged physical tissue that caused him a lot of pain. The patient had suspected his illness due to experiencing abdominal pain and bloody stool several years ago that prompted him to go for a check-up. Some of his family members including the father had been diagnosed with cancer, this made him resolve not have a family. This indicated his response concerning bad genes, which is demonstrated by the cultural and social dimensions of pain. In his culture, cancer was an incurable disease that causes extreme physical pain, and it also believed that a good man should responsibly take care of his family. He was feeling relieved that he could not be a burden to his family at the moment since he avoided having one due to his diagnosis. This response has been influenced by his experiences in the past, personality, environment, as well as cultural and social factors.

Measuring the concept

There are no specific tools that can be used to measure pain concept however human experiences; components of behaviors; functions of pain like protective and warning signs; responses to pain can be used to determine the degree of pain being experienced (Jones, 2011)


Pain concept analysis is significant for both patients and health care providers. The various theoretical definitions pain brings out what is really entailed in pain and can assist in developing solutions that are workable in pain management.


Jones, K. R., Fink, R., Vojir, C., Pepper, G., Hutt, E., Clark, L. … & Mellis, B. K. (2011). Translation Research in Long‐Term Care: Improving Pain Management in Nursing Homes. Worldviews on EvidenceBased Nursing1(s1), S13-S20.

McCaffrey, M., & Ferrell, B. R. (2007). Nurses’ knowledge of pain assessment and management: How much progress have we made?. Journal of pain and symptom management14(3), 175-188.

Merboth, M. K., & Barnason, S. (2009). Managing pain: the fifth vital sign. The Nursing clinics of North America35(2), 375-383.

Portenoy, R. K., & Hagen, N. A. (2010). Breakthrough pain: definition, prevalence and characteristics. Pain41(3), 273-281.