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J Palliat Care. 2005 Winter;21(4):246-51.

Physicians' attitude and practices in sickle cell disease pain management.

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Department of Psychology, University of South Alabama, Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center, Mobile, USA.

Erratum in

  • J Palliat Care. 2006 Spring;22(1):64.


Many physicians believe that patients with sickle cell disease (SCD) are more likely to become addicted to pain medication than are other patient populations. This study hypothesizes that physicians' attitudes towards addiction in patients with SCD affects pain management practices. The Physician Attitudes Survey was sent to 286 physicians at seven National Institutes of Health-funded university-based comprehensive sickle cell centres. The survey assessed demographic information; and physician's attitudes toward and knowledge of pain, pain treatment, and drug addiction and abuse. Significant Pearson product-moment correlations were found between attitudes towards pain and beliefs regarding addiction to prescribed opioids. Physicians reported varied pain management strategies, however, many believe that attitudes toward addiction and to patients in pain crises may result in undertreatment of pain. These results indicate that physicians might benefit from additional education regarding sickle cell disease, addiction to pain medication, the pharmacology of opioids, and the assessment and treatment of pain.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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