More than two-thirds of Canadian hospitals do not document pain management interventions performed on children, according to a study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

Researchers reviewed medical charts for infants and children up to 18 years of age who had been admitted to 32 inpatient units at eight Canadian paediatric hospitals between October 2007 and April 2008.

Of the 3,822 children included in the study, 2,987 (78.2%) had undergone at least one painful procedure in the 24-hour period preceding data collection.

For 844 (28.3%) of these children was pain management administered and documented specifically for a painful procedure.

However, 78.1% of the children who underwent a painful procedure in the preceding 24 hours had some kind of pain management.

Among the children who underwent pain management, 84.8% had a pharmacologic intervention, 26.1% a physical intervention, 25.0% a psychological intervention and 32.3% a combination of interventions.