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Indian J Palliat Care. 2019 Oct-Dec;25(4):494-500. doi: 10.4103/IJPC.IJPC_39_19.

Pain Severity and Adequacy of Pain Management in Terminally Ill Patients with Cancer: An Experience from North Palestine.

Author information

1
Department of Internal Medicine, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock, TX, USA.
2
Department of Internal Medicine, An-Najah National University, Nablus, Palestine.
3
Department of Family Medicine, Lakeland Regional Medical Center, Lakeland, Florida, USA.

Abstract

Aim:

Chronic pain is common in terminally ill patients with cancer and affects their quality of life. In this study, we wanted to evaluate pain severity and the adequacy of prescribed analgesics in terminally ill patients with cancer in North Palestine.

Methods:

We conducted a cross-sectional descriptive study in North Palestine on 77 terminally ill patients with cancer. Pain experience was evaluated with Brief Pain Inventory-Short Form (BPI-SF). Pain management index (PMI) was calculated to determine the adequacy of interventions. The relationships between adequacy of pain management and socioeconomic and clinical factors were analyzed by the covariance method. Statistical analyses were performed using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS version 15.0 [SPSS Inc., Chicago, USA]).

Results:

Fifty-nine patients (76.6%) reported moderate-to-severe pain. According to the PMI, only 64.9% of the patients received adequate pain management. Thirty-five patients (45%) wanted additional treatment or an increase in the dose of pain medications. Although men and women reported similar pain severities, women were more likely to be inadequately treated (P = 0.027). Pain severity was significantly less in patients who received health-care services at least once in the last month before the interview, compared to those without recent access to health care (P = 0.024).

Conclusion:

There is substantial inadequacy in pain management in patients with cancer. The BPI-SF should be routinely used to evaluate pain severity, and analgesics should be prescribed equitably without discrimination with regard to gender and socioeconomic status of patients.

KEYWORDS:

Attitudes; cancer pain; observational study; pain management; practice patterns

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