Author Credentials

Olivia Sonneborn

MN, GradCertPerianNurse, RN

Annie Williams

MScMed (Pain Management)


The widely used and acknowledged universal definition of pain developed by the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) in 1979 has been revised in 2020. The 2020 IASP definition states pain is ‘an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with, or resembling that associated with, actual or potential tissue damage’. The 2020 IASP definition of pain reinforces the importance for nurses to have an understanding of the pathophysiology of pain and highlights the crucial role pain assessment plays in overall pain management, which nurses are pivotal in driving and delivering.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.