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Ostomy Wound Manage. 2003 Apr;49(4 Suppl):2-15.

Practical treatment of wound pain and trauma: a patient-centered approach. An overview.

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Department of Medicine, University of Toronto, Division of Geriatric Medicine, Division of Dermatology, Sunnybrook and Women's Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, Canada.


Chronic wound pain is distressing and influences the patient's ability to function. One of the failures of modern medicine is the inadequate assessment and treatment of pain. The clinician's approach to chronic wound pain combines the "preparing the wound bed" paradigm with chronic wound pain models. A holistic approach must include the diagnosis and treatment of the underlying cause, identification and correction of patient-centered concerns, and the three major components of local wound care (debridement, bacterial balance/prolonged inflammation, and moisture balance). The Krasner pain model defines chronic (persistent), noncyclic acute, and cyclic acute wound pain. Chronic persistent wound pain without an event or trigger often relates to the cause of the wound that needs to be corrected to relieve the pain. Noncyclic acute pain is often experienced with a surgical procedure such as sharp debridement. Cyclical acute pain may occur repeatedly with removal or application of new local wound dressings. Securing a thorough pain history focusing on pain patterns will help healthcare professionals develop specific pain relief initiatives. Pain is a component of quality of life. Patient-centered concerns need to address pain control measures until the cause of the pain can be corrected. Controlling pain, however, may not always improve quality of life scores. Each of the components of local wound care also may be responsible for the production of pain; strategies need to be implemented to ensure adequate patient comfort.

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