Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name




First Advisor

Snowdon, A.,


Health Sciences, Nursing.




Despite extensive knowledge of pain and pain management, it remains common for critical care nurses to withhold sedation from patients for extended periods of time prior to, and during, weaning from mechanical ventilation. Using the research method of Grounded Theory, insight into the importance of pain management during weaning and the nature of decision-making related to pain management was sought. Ten critical care nurses from a moderate sized urban Canadian hospital were interviewed for their perceptions on pain and its management during weaning from mechanical ventilation. The findings from the study support a theory of decision-making that is a dynamic and continuous process of knowledge gathering, interpretation, and action. Within this process, two sets of nurse beliefs were identified that influence nurse decision making. The strength of the two beliefs, in combination with nursing experience, create numerous lines of decision-making within the Belief-Decision Continuum and generate the potential to switch lines of decision-making during the process. The results of this study suggest that nurse beliefs may be more powerful than empirical evidence indicating that nurse beliefs may provide an answer to why pain management education has been unable to change critical care nurses' practice. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis2001 .H87. Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 40-03, page: 0679. Adviser: A. Snowdon. Thesis (M.Sc.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 2001.