Cancer pain management in an oncological ward in a comprehensive cancer center with an established palliative care unit.

Alessandra Casuccio, Vittorio Gebbia, Antonino Giarratano, Vittorio Gebbia, Valentina Alaimo, Sebastiano Mercadante, Antonino Giarratano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

AbstractBACKGROUND:This survey was performed to draw information on pain prevalence, intensity, and management from a sample of patients who were admitted to an oncologic center where a palliative care unit (PCU) has been established for 13 years.METHODS:Cross-sectional survey in an oncological department performed 1 day per month for six consecutive months.RESULTS:Of the 385 patients, 69.1, 19.2, 8.6, and 3.1 % had no pain, mild, moderate, and severe pain, respectively. Inpatients and patients with a low Karnofsky score showed higher levels of pain intensity (p < 0.0005). One hundred twenty-eight patients with pain or receiving analgesics were analyzed for pain management index (PMI). Only a minority of patients had negative PMI score, which was statistically associated with inpatient admission (p = 0.011). Fifty of these 128 patients had breakthrough pain (BTP), and all of them were receiving some medication for BTP.CONCLUSION:It is likely that the presence of PCU team providing consultation, advices, and cultural pressure, other than offering admissions for difficult cases had a positive impact on the use of analgesics, as compared with previous similar surveys performed in oncological setting, where a PCU was unavailable. This information confirms the need of the presence of a PCU in a high volume oncological department.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3287-3292
Number of pages6
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
Volume21
Publication statusPublished - 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology

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