OBJECTIVES: To describe the various models of acute and chronic pain used in animal research and to assist the clinical nurse to understand specific terminology in interpreting the research findings. DATA SOURCES: Review articles, book chapters, research studies, and research guidelines and handbooks pertaining to use of animals in laboratory research. CONCLUSIONS: The value of pain research in animals is the testing of new drugs and treatments that may one day be used to relieve pain. Additional benefits include a greater understanding of the physiology of pain and the reflexive and complex pain behaviors that can be used to increase awareness of the human pain experience. IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING PRACTICE: Understanding the models used in animal research allows greater communication between nurses and scientists, fostering the development of clinically based research questions. Patients with benefit from animal research when nurses and other health care providers appropriately interpret and apply this valuable information in the clinical setting.
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