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Support Care Cancer. 1997 Nov;5(6):457-60.

Pseudo-opioid-resistant pain.

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  • 1Centre for Health Services and Nursing Research, Faculty of Medicine, Catholic University Leuven, Belgium.


The purpose of this article is to describe and analyse factors that result in pseudo-opioid-resistant pain. This is defined as a persistent pain experience communicated by the patient or family after prescription and initiation of opioid therapy based on empirically validated criteria. Pseudo-opioid-resistant pain can be caused by inadequate self-care or family care in relation to opioid therapy. Problems can arise in relation to communication of the pain experience, acceptance of the treatment choice and correct opioid administration. These problems may result from misconceptions or knowledge deficit, lack of motivation and lack of performance capabilities. The article systematically analyses the three categories of aetiological factors and arrives at a comprehensive explanatory model. This can be used for research purposes as well as for problem detection in clinical practice. The article includes a case report.

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