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Pain intensity and pain interference in hospitalized patients with cancer

Pain intensity and pain interference in hospitalized patients with cancer

Oncology Nursing Forum 27(6): 985-991

To examine relationships among pain intensity, interference in daily life because of pain, reported pain relief, and analgesics prescribed in hospitalized patients with cancer. Cross-sectional, descriptive. The internal medicine services of two acute-care facilities, an academic medical center, and a community hospital in the northeastern United States. 176 patients with cancer, 139 of whom reported pain during hospitalization. Mean age of the sample was 59 years, 50% were women, and 79% were Caucasian. Patients were interviewed in their hospital rooms to obtain information about the major variables using the Brief Pain Inventory-Short Form and the Pain Management Index. Demographic, clinical, and analgesic prescription data were obtained from patients' medical records. Pain intensity, pain-related interference, and pain relief analgesic adequacy. The prevalence of pain in the sample of 176 patients was 79%. Of the 139 patients who experienced pain during hospitalization, a strong positive correlation was found between worst pain intensity and interference, which was not appreciably altered by surgery or procedures conducted during hospitalization. Although patients with metastatic disease reported greater pain intensity and interference than patients without metastases, they were more likely to have adequate analgesics prescribed. Findings suggest that pain interferes with daily life and that higher levels of pain produce greater interference. Adequate analgesics were prescribed for a majority of the patients, yet levels of worst pain remained severe for 46% of the sample. These findings reinforce the need to assess and treat pain in hospitalized patients with cancer. Nurses need to be aware of the prescribed dose of analgesics and administer a dose that provides adequate pain relief.

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Accession: 046908739

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PMID: 10920837

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