Treatment of pain in pediatric oncology: a Swedish nationwide survey.
ABSTRACT Pain treatment is a crucial aspect in the care of children with cancer and there are many studies demonstrating inefficient pain treatment. In this study, questionnaires dealing with pain treatment of children with malignant diseases were sent to all (47) pediatric departments in Sweden. The aims of this nationwide survey were to evaluate the extent and causes of pain, the use of methods for pain evaluation (e.g. analysis of type of pain and monitoring of pain intensity), principles of pain management, side effects of pain treatment and the educational needs of physicians and nurses regarding these issues. The response rate was 100%. Answers from physicians and nurses reveal that pain is a common symptom during different periods of cancer treatment. Pain due to treatment and procedures is a greater problem than pain due to the malignant disease itself. Instruments for the measurement of pain intensity and analysis of the type of pain are still rarely used. Most physicians (63%) follow the analgesic 'ladder' principle recommended by World Health Organization (WHO). According to a majority of physicians and nurses (72%), pain could be treated more effectively than it is presently, and 64% state that they need more time for the management of pain. Both physicians and nurses state that they need additional education in different areas of pain evaluation and pain treatment. Swedish treatment practices for the management of pediatric cancer pain roughly follow the published guidelines, but many improvements are still necessary.
Article: Radiotherapy for bone pain.Pain 12/1995; 63(2):137-9. · 5.64 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: This paper reports on the experience gained using World Health Organization Guidelines for cancer pain relief over a 10-year period in an anaesthesiology-based pain service associated with a palliative care programme. The course of treatment of 2118 patients was assessed prospectively over a period of 140,478 treatment days. Non-opioid analgesics (WHO step I) were used on 11%, weak opioids (WHO step II) on 31% and strong opioids (WHO step III) on 49% of treatment days. Administration was via the enteral route on 82% and parenterally on 9% of treatment days. On the remaining days, either spinally applied opioids (2%) or other treatments (6%) were utilised. Fifty-six percent of the patients were treated with morphine. Morphine dose escalation was observed in about one-half of the patients being cared for until death, whereas the other half had stable or decreasing doses over the course of treatment. Co-analgesics were administered on 37% of days, most often antidepressants (15%), anticonvulsants (13%) and corticosteroids (13%). Adjuvants to treat symptoms other than pain were prescribed on 79% of days, most commonly laxatives (42%), histamine-2-receptor antagonists (39%) and antiemetics (35%). In addition, palliative antineoplastic treatment was performed in 42%, nerve blocks in 8%, physiotherapy in 5%, psychotherapy in 3% and TENS in 3% of patients. A highly significant pain reduction was achieved within the 1st week of treatment (P < 0.001). Over the whole treatment period, good pain relief was reported in 76%, satisfactory efficacy in 12% and inadequate efficacy in 12% of patients. In the final days of life, 84% rated their pain as moderate or less, while 10% were unable to give a rating. Analgesics remained constantly effective in all 3 steps of the WHO ladder. Other clinical symptoms were likewise significantly reduced at 1 week after initial assessment, with the exception of neuropsychiatric symptoms. During the course of treatment, the latter were the major symptoms on 23% of days, followed by nausea (23%), constipation (23%) and anorexia (20%). Our results emphasise once again the marked efficacy and low rate of complications associated with oral and parenteral analgesic therapy as the mainstay of pain treatment in the palliative care of patients with advanced cancer. Wide dissemination of WHO guidelines among doctors and healthcare workers is thus necessary to effect a clear improvement in the treatment of the many patients suffering from cancer pain in the clinical and home setting.Pain 10/1995; 63(1):65-76. · 5.64 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: In recent years, the observation that the response of patients to opioid drugs may be influenced by properties inherent in the pain or pain syndrome, such as its pathophysiology, has evolved into the belief that certain types of pain e.g., neuropathic pains, may be unresponsive to these drugs. This concept has important implications for both clinical practice and basic understanding of opioid mechanisms.We critically evaluate opioid responsiveness, particularly as it relates to neuropathic pain, and propose a clinically relevant definition and a paradigm for its investigation. The paradigm is illustrated by analgesic responses to opioid infusion in 28 patients with neuropathic pains and by a detailed presentation of the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic relationships in one of these patients, whose central pain responded promptly to an infusion of hydromorphone. From this analysis, we hypothesize that (1) opioid responsiveness in man can be defined by the degree of analgesia achieved during dose escalation to either intolerable side effects or the occurrence of ‘complete’ or ‘adequate’ analgesia; (2) opioid responsiveness is a continuum, rather than a quantal phenomenon; (3) opioid responsiveness is determined by a diverse group of patient characteristics and pain-related factors, as well as drug-selective effects; and (4) a neuropathic mechanism may reduce opioid responsiveness, but does not result in an inherent resistance to these drugs.Given the complexity of factors contributing to opioid responsiveness and the observation that outcome cannot be reliably predicted, opioids should not be withheld on the assumption that pain mechanism, or any other factor, precludes a favorable response. Both the clinical use of opioids and paradigms to investigate opioid responsiveness should include dose escalation to maximally tolerated levels and repeated monitoring of analgesia and other effects.Pain 01/1991; · 5.64 Impact Factor