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J Pain Symptom Manage. 1997 Jul;14(1):29-35.

A multicenter evaluation of cancer pain control by palliative care teams.

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Department of Palliative Care and Policy, King's College School of Medicine and Dentistry, London, United Kingdom.


Data on pain prevalence and severity were collected prospectively from advanced cancer patients as an integral part of two service evaluations. Six multidisciplinary palliative care teams working in Ireland formed the basis of one study and five teams based in the South of England were included in the second. A total of 695 cancer patients were referred and died in care in a minimum 6-month data collection period. Of these, 70% (486/695) were experiencing pain at referral to the services. After 2 weeks, there was a significant reduction (P < 0.0001) in the levels of pain experienced by patients, and no patient had overwhelming pain. The data emphasize that pain prevalence in advanced cancer patients cared for in the community is as high as that observed in other settings. Multidisciplinary palliative care teams are shown here to be effective in alleviating pain.

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