Nurses play a crucial role in cancer pain control, but little is known about how well-prepared nurses are to manage cancer pain in Taiwan. The purpose of this study was to examine the level of knowledge about pain management among Taiwanese nurses with different background characteristics and to determine the predictor(s) of nurses' pain management knowledge. Nurse subjects were recruited by a cross-sectional nationwide survey with stratified sampling from nine hospitals distributed in the four major geographic regions of Taiwan. The Nurses' Knowledge and Attitudes Survey-Taiwanese version (NKAS-T) and a background information form were used to collect the data. Of 1900 surveys distributed, 1797 valid questionnaires (94.5%) were analyzed. The average correct response rate was 50.5%, with rates ranging from 7-86% for each survey question. Results from stepwise regression showed that nurses with higher mean correct answer scores had BS or higher degrees, had received pain education at professional conferences, had more prior hours of pain education, had longer clinical care experiences, and always worked with cancer patients. Nurses who worked in intensive care units, however, had significantly lower mean correct scores. The results strongly suggest an urgent need to strengthen pain education in Taiwan. The results also provide the direction for developing pain education.
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