Indian Journal of Palliative Care
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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 21  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 148--151

The prevalence of severe pain, its etiopathological characteristics and treatment profile of patients referred to a tertiary cancer care pain clinic

Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain, Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
P N Jain
Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain, Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0973-1075.156467

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Pain is the most feared symptom in cancer. About 52-77% patients suffer pain despite World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations. Out of total, one-third patients suffer moderate to severe pain. This study was undertaken to determine the prevalence, etiopathogenesis and characteristics of severe pain and treatment response among pain clinic referrals in a busy tertiary care cancer center. This study found a high prevalence (31.5%) of severe pain. A total of 251 patients who had complete pain data were analyzed for etiopathological characteristics and treatment response. Head and neck cancer contributed the highest prevalence among all regions. Oncologists prescribed non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or paracetamol with or without mild opioids to 14% patients and pain clinic physicians prescribed opioids and overall 63.7% patients had a better response after pain clinic referral, even then, morphine was not prescribed to many deserving patients. Doctors need pain education about opioids to remove any fear of prescribing opioids in presence of severe pain.


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