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Inadequate pain management in cancer patients attending an outpatient palliative radiotherapy clinic



Inadequate pain management in cancer patients attending an outpatient palliative radiotherapy clinic



Supportive Care in Cancer 24(2): 887-892



The aim of this study is to assess the prevalence of undertreated cancer pain in an outpatient palliative radiotherapy clinic using the Pain Management Index (PMI). A retrospective analysis of a prospective database to assess pain management was done on patients with cancer pain enrolled from January 2009 to March 2015 using recorded pain intensity (0-10) and baseline pain medications. The pain intensities were categorized into no pain (0), mild pain (1), moderate pain (2), and severe pain (3), and an analgesic score was assigned to the most potent pain medication the patient was taking during the time of data collection. "0" was assigned to no analgesics, "1" to non-opioids, "2" to weak opioids, and "3" for strong opioids based on the WHO guidelines. The PMI was calculated for each patient by subtracting the pain score from the analgesic score. A negative value indicated undertreatment, and a value of 0 or greater corresponded to adequate pain management. Three hundred fifty-four patients were included in the study. The incidence of inadequate pain management was 33.3 %, similar to that reported in our previous studies. Additionally, 106 patients were taking strong opioids and reporting severe pain despite being the PMI reporting adequately treated. The rate of undertreatment is similar to that reported in past studies; however, the rates have shown a slight increase in our palliative radiotherapy clinic since the last assessment. Inadequate management of cancer pain continues to be a problem.

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Accession: 058090009

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 26209950

DOI: 10.1007/s00520-015-2858-7


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