Evaluating pain in intensive care

Hanna Suominen, Heljä Lundgrén-Laine, Sanna Salanterä, Tapio I. Salakoski

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookConference contributionpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Optimal pain management is essential for good care outcomes, but assessing pain is particularly complex in intensive care, as patients are often unable to communicate. We hypothesize that the task could be supported through human language technology. To evaluate the feasibility of such tools, we study how pain is documented in electronic Finnish free-text intensive care nursing notes by statistically comparing annotations of ten nursing professionals on a set of 1548 documents. The aspects considered include the amount and writing style of pain-related notes, pain intensity, and given pain care. More than half of the documents contained information relevant for patients' pain status but it was expressed usually indirectly. Also pain medication was commented as free-text. Although annotators' pain intensity evaluations diverged, the substantial amount of pain-related notes encourages developing computational tools for pain assessment.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationConnecting Health and Humans - Proceedings of NI2009: The 10th International Congress on Nursing Informatics
EditorsKaija Saranto, Patricia Flatley Brennan, Hyeoun-Ae Park, Marianne Tallberg, Anneli Ensio
Place of PublicationUnited States
PublisherIOS Press
Number of pages5
ISBN (Print)9781607500247
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes
Event10th International Congress on Nursing Informatics: Connecting Health and Humans, NI2009 - Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
Duration: 28 Jun 20091 Jul 2009


Conference10th International Congress on Nursing Informatics: Connecting Health and Humans, NI2009


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