It has been found that pain is one of the major problems of patients hospitalized in Intensive Care Units (ICU), perhaps because there are obstacles related to patients’ lack of communication, but also because of the medical and nursing stuff. Studies have shown that these obstacles that hinder the assessment and therefore the pain management include medical technology, lack of nursing knowledge, lack of communication, and lack of nursing time. Despite of the recognition by the international literature, that pain is a significant problem in the management of critical care patients, this issue has not been adequately addressed by the nurses of ICU. This review examines strategies and guidelines to change pain management practices, including internationally recognized pain assessment scales. The aim of this literature review is to identify the obstacles that appear in an ICU regarding the assessment of pain, highlighting strategies for accessing these obstacles according to the literature and the psychological approach of ICU patients.
Key Words: pain, intensive care unit, management, nurse, pain scales