Research Article| Volume 65, e35-e42, July 2022

The perceptions and practices of parents and children on acute pain management among hospitalized children in two Botswana referral hospitals

Published:February 18, 2022DOI:


      • Children in Botswana may experience high pain intensity and may not likely seek pain relief.
      • Parents/guardians and children have adequate knowledge about children’s pain
      • Parents/guardians and children demonstrated positive attitudes towards pain management.
      • Parents/guardians and children are content with pain management despite reporting high levels of acute pain.
      • Modified APS-POQ-R is valid to assess parent/guardians and children’s perceptions and practices in Botswana.
      • Parents/guardians may not consider pain interference with child’s activities as the sick child is expected to be in bed.



      Perceptions and practices of parties in pediatric pain are critical in children's access to adequate acute pain management. The personal factors of the child and parents have been shown to be central to pediatric pain management by the Symptom Management Theory.


      To describe children and parents/guardians' perceptions (knowledge, attitudes and beliefs) and practices regarding pediatric acute pain management and explain the influence of socio-cultural and environmental factors on those perceptions and practices.


      Descriptive cross-sectional survey using modified versions of the American Pain Society Patient Outcome Questionnaire-Revised among parents/guardians and children.


      A convenience sample of 275 parents/guardians and 42 children aged 8 to 13 years admitted between date November 2018 and February 2019 to two Botswana tertiary hospitals completed the surveys. Forty-seven percent (n = 129) of parents/guardians reported the child to be in moderate-severe pain, while 38% (n = 16) of children reported pain as moderate-severe at the time of the survey. The children mean scores for cm-APS-POQ-R were 113(33) while parents/guardian's guardians for m-APS-POQ-R were 123(26). The subscales except for the parents/’guardians' pain interference (p = .96) were statistically significant (p = .000), showing adequate knowledge, positive attitudes and high pain intensity for both parents/guardians and children.


      Parent/guardians and children reported a high incidence of acute pain, were content with pain management services, and showed adequate knowledge of pediatric pain and its management. The incongruence between the intensity of pain, satisfaction on the adequacy of pain management and knowledge and attitudes demonstrated in this study need further inquiry.


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