Indian Journal of Palliative Care
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 ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2009  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 127--131

Oral morphine prescribing practices in severe cancer pain


Department of Pain and Palliative Care, St.John's Medical College Hospital, Bangalore, India

Correspondence Address:
B Barathi
Department of Pain and Palliative Care, St.John's Medical College Hospital, Bangalore
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0973-1075.58458

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Background: Nearly one million cancer patients in India need oral morphine for pain relief. Despite doctors prescribing oral morphine in our center, many cancer patients with severe pain found to be not facilitated with adequate pain relief. Aim: This audit was conducted to look at the "oral morphine prescribing practices for severe cancer pain" at a tertiary care hospital. Materials and Methods: Twenty case files of patients, who were admitted with severe cancer pain, and receiving oral morphine were analyzed in pre- and posteducational session. Local standards were set to assess the adequacy of pain relief. Deficiency in achieving analgesia was found in preinterventional audit. A clinical audit was conducted before and after the educational session on oral morphine prescribing. The education for doctors and nurses focused on starting patients on morphine, titration, and administering rescue dose. Then local guidelines on oral morphine prescribing were circulated. And analysis of following factors were done following pre- and posteducational session: Pain intensity at the beginning of treatment, starting dose of morphine, increments in morphine dose, number of rescue doses given, and fall in pain intensity at the end of 1 week. The outcomes were compared with the standards. Results: Preintervention audit showed that only 50% of patients achieved adequate pain relief. Rescue dose was administered in only 20% of patients. While reaudit following the educational session showed that 80% of patients achieved adequate pain relief and 100% received rescue doses. Conclusion: Educational sessions have significant impact on improving oral morphine prescribing practice among doctors and nurses. It was found failing to administer regular as well as rescue doses resulted in inadequate pain relief in patients receiving oral morphine.






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