Predictors of Nurses' Intentions to Administer As-Needed Opioid Analgesics for Pain Relief to Postoperative Orthopaedic Patients in the Acute Care Setting

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Patients undergoing orthopaedic surgery experience severe postoperative pain that is frequently undertreated. No study was found that examined the predictors of nurses' intentions to administer as needed (PRN) opioid analgesics for postoperative pain relief.


The purpose of this study was to determine what constructs from the Integrated Behavioral Model (IBM) can predict nurses' intentions to administer PRN opioid analgesics for pain relief to hospitalized postoperative orthopaedic patients.


A nonexperimental, cross-sectional quantitative format was used. The sample consisted of 800 nurses. Data collection was done by survey.


Path analysis revealed the significant predictors of nurses' intention to administer opioid analgesics to be self-efficacy (β= 0.15), normative beliefs (β= 0.21), and salience (importance) of the behavior (β= 0.25).


The study showed that the IBM constructs are useful for predicting intentions toward performance of a professional behavior. The inclusion of self-efficacy, underlying beliefs, and salience of the behavior was new and unique contributions to the existing body of knowledge.

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