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Ann Intern Med. 1990 Dec 1;113(11):885-9.

Improving outcomes of analgesic treatment: is education enough?

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National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland.


Frequent undertreatment of analgesic-responsive acute pain and chronic cancer pain persists, despite intensive efforts to provide clinicians with information about analgesics. A set of background factors must be addressed in interventions to improve pain treatment: Traditional patterns of clinician and patient interaction on the ward, quality assurance, and drug regulatory practices do not support prompt recognition and treatment of pain. Possible interventions to modify these patterns of daily practice include monitoring and displaying patient pain ratings routinely, making available educational tools to assist optimal drug ordering, encouraging patients to communicate about unrelieved pain, reviewing quality assurance of pain treatment regimens, increasing behavioral research into analgesic prescribing, and selectively modifying narcotics regulatory practices.

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