1. De Clifford Faugere, Gwenaelle PhD, RN
  2. Aita, Marilyn PhD, RN
  3. Feeley, Nancy PhD, RN, FCAN
  4. Colson, Sebastien PhD, RN


In the neonatal intensive care unit, preterm infants undergo many painful procedures. Although these can impair their neurodevelopment if not properly managed, only half of the painful procedures are optimally handled. This cross-sectional study aimed to evaluate nurses' perceptions of preterm infants' pain, to evaluate nurses' pain assessment and management practices, as well as to identify the individual and contextual factors that influence nurses' assessments and interventions for pain management. Secondary analyses, including a mixed-model analysis, were performed with data from a larger study (n = 202 nurses). Nurses were found to have attitudes and perceptions in favor of preterm infants' pain management, although they reported using few standardized instruments to assess pain. Nurses stated that they widely used sucrose, non-nutritive sucking, and positioning as pain management interventions, while skin-to-skin contact was rarely practiced. Nurses' attitudes and perceptions influenced their pain assessment practices, which predicted their implementation of interventions. Several contextual (country, level of care, and work shift) and individual factors (age, level of education, had a preterm infant, perceptions of family-centered care, and skin-to-skin contact) also predicted nurses' pain assessment and management practices.