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A review of evidence about factors affecting quality of pain management in sickle cell disease

A review of evidence about factors affecting quality of pain management in sickle cell disease

Clinical Journal of Pain 12(3): 180-193

To assess the evidence for pharmacological, behavioural, and interpersonal influences on quality of pain management in sickle cell disease. English-language reports from the research literature up to 1995, identified using Medline, Psychlit, and the Bath Information Data Service. Studies are reviewed that (a) reported quantitative clinical outcomes for particular analgesic methods used to treat painful episodes or (b) provide data on patient factors, interpersonal treatment factors, or levels of drug dependence in relation to pain management in sickle cell disease. Findings vary on the effectiveness of longer-acting opiates, patient-controlled or continuously infused analgesia, and behavioural analgesic techniques, with better results for trials where interpersonal aspects of pain management were also addressed. Risks for poorer pain management are greatest for patients in adverse social circumstances, who are more severely affected by painful episodes and who are poorly adjusted and have less effective personal strategies for coping with pain, but the limited evidence on drug dependence indicates very low levels by comparison with risk and exposure factors. Analgesic methods and approaches should continue to be developed and evaluated, but conflicting perceptions between patients and staff about pain that is reported and analgesia that is required probably contribute most to poor pain management in sickle cell disease. Promising areas for future research include the assessment of patients' everyday pain coping styles and patterns of drug use in relation to their hospital experiences of pain management, and the evaluation of psychological interventions to improve patients' styles and strategies for coping with pain.

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Accession: 045106948

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PMID: 8866159

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