Pain and its interference with daily activities in medical oncology outpatients
until further notice
SourcePain Physician, 16, 4, (2013), pp. 379-389
Article / Letter to editor
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Primary and Community Care
SubjectNCEBP 11: Alzheimer Centre; NCEBP 4: Quality of hospital and integrated care; NCEBP 7: Effective primary care and public health; NCEBP 7: Effective primary care and public health ONCOL 2: Age-related aspects of cancer; NCEBP 7: Effective primary care and public health ONCOL 5: Aetiology, screening and detection; DCN MP - Plasticity and memory NCEBP 7: Effective primary care and public health
BACKGROUND: Pain prevalence at various stages of cancer ranges from 27% to 60% for outpatients. Yet, how pain is managed in this patient group is poorly understood. OBJECTIVES: The primary objective was to assess pain prevalence and intensity, and its interference with daily activities, in medical oncology outpatients. The secondary objectives were the adequacy of analgesic pain treatment and to identify independent predictors for moderate to severe pain. STUDY DESIGN: A cross-sectional study. SETTING: Oncology outpatient clinics of 7 Dutch regional hospitals. METHODS: Four hundred twenty-eight medical oncology outpatients were assigned to the study. Pain prevalence and interference of pain with daily activities were assessed using the Brief Pain Inventory. Adequacy of analgesic treatment was determined by calculating the Pain Management Index (PMI). Descriptive statistics, non-parametric tests, and logistic regression analysis were conducted. RESULTS: More than one third of all participants reported pain (39%). Eighty-three patients (20%) had moderate to severe pain (NRS 5-10). Analgesic treatment was inadequate in more than half of the patients with pain (62%). Interference of pain with daily activities increased with increased intensity, yet even 10%-33% of patients suffering mild pain reported high interference with daily activities. High current pain intensity and high interference with general daily activities predicted moderate to severe pain. LIMITATIONS: No characteristics of nonparticipants were available. CONCLUSION: Pain remains a significant problem in medical oncology outpatients, and often pain is insufficiently managed. Patients with a high pain intensity were more at risk to experience pain related interference with daily activities, but even some patients suffering mild pain experienced this. As adequate pain relief for up to 86% of the patients with cancer should be feasible, pain in medical oncology outpatients is still undertreated. Taking into account the interference of pain with daily activities and predictors of pain will facilitate cancer pain management. The study has been approved by the Medical Ethics Committee (CMO) in all 7 hospitals (METC protocol number 2011/020) and has been registered by the Dutch Trial register (NTR): NTR2739.
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