[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The objectives of this prospective, observational cohort study were to examine current practice of analgesia in adults with acute abdominal pain presenting to emergency department (ED), to assess patient-physician agreement on pain severity, and to measure patients' satisfaction with pain management.
Emergency room nurse assessed initial patient's and physician's ranking on a 0-100mm visual analogue scale (VAS) as well as patient's VAS rankings 5min, 15min, and 60min after starting treatment for pain, and on discharge. In patients who received no therapy VAS scores were assessed 5min, 15min, and 60min after initial examination, and on discharge. Patient's satisfaction with pain management on discharge from ED was assessed using a four-point categorical scale in which 1=completely unsatisfied, 2=mostly unsatisfied, 3=mostly satisfied, and 4=completely satisfied.
A total of 185 patients were enrolled. Patients' mean initial VAS was higher than physicians' (76+/-20mm, vs. 59+/-20mm, p<0.001). Physician's VAS > or = 60mm was the sole independent predictor of receiving analgesic therapy (p<0.001). On discharge from ED, 111 patients (60%) were predominantly satisfied with analgesia (satisfaction score > or = 3). Drug titration (p=0.026) and decrease in VAS score > or = 20mm between initial and discharge score (p<0.001) independently predicted patients' satisfaction.
Patients with acute abdominal pain rated pain significantly higher than physicians who's pain estimation in turn tailored analgesia. Only 60% of patients were satisfied with analgesia. Analgesic drug titration and a decrease of > or = 20mm on VAS predicted patients' satisfaction.
No preview · Article · Nov 2007 · European Journal of Pain