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An analysis of the concept of painThis paper presents a conceptual analysis of the phenomenon of pain.The strategic process of developing a conceptual analysis is a cognitive exercise of critical thinking applied to a very common, but complex and poorly understood, experience. Within the classic framework developed by Walker & Avant (1995) , pain is analysed and critical attributes are distilled. A model case, a related case and a contrary case are constructed in the course of creating conceptual clarity. Empirical referents that exemplify the concept of pain are identified. The concept analysis provides a forum for dialectics, offering one defensible interpretation of a complex human occurrence. Nursing implications are discussed in the conclusion.