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open access

Vol 10, No 1 (2011)
Original articles
Published online: 2011-04-26
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Breakthrough pain in patients with chronic cancer pain followed by palliative care and pain clinic physicians — an observational study

Marcin Janecki, Joanna Janecka
Advances in Palliative Medicine 2011;10(1):29-34.

open access

Vol 10, No 1 (2011)
Original articles
Published online: 2011-04-26

Abstract

Background. Breakthrough pain (BtP) is common among patients suffering from cancer pain. The experience, knowledge and education of palliative care physicians or pain clinicans seems to be essential for proper diagnosis and treatment of breakthrough pain. Another key point is knowledge and behavior of patients suffering the breakthrough pain episodes. The aim of this study was to determine, whether patients suffering the cancer chronic pain are being informed by physicians working in palliative care outpatients and pain clinics about BtP occurrence and treatment, as well as how patients are utilizing the rescue medications.

Material and methods. Six hundred seventy eight patients participated in the study. The common demographic (age, sex), disease-related, background pain (including mode and effectiveness of treatment) data were collected. The information about breakthrough pain occurrence, number of episodes, BtP management, frequency of rescue medications dosing and effectiveness of these medications were also collected.

Results. Over 75% of them had been prescribed strong opioid and almost 25% of the patients — weak opioid. 58% had uncontrolled background pain. BtP was reported by 69,3% of these patients, most commonly one or two episodes per day. Only 3% of patients experienced more than 4 episodes a day. As a rescue medication patients usually used morphine, followed by nonsteroidal antiinflamatory drugs and paracetamol, but statistically not every time they experienced the BtP.

Conclusion. This study confirmed that patients followed by palliative care outpatients and pain clinics receive information about background and breakthrough pain, and are well orientated in pain medications. The problem emerges in proper utilization of rescue medications, most commonly prescribed as oral.

Adv. Pall. Med. 2011; 10, 1: 29–34

Abstract

Background. Breakthrough pain (BtP) is common among patients suffering from cancer pain. The experience, knowledge and education of palliative care physicians or pain clinicans seems to be essential for proper diagnosis and treatment of breakthrough pain. Another key point is knowledge and behavior of patients suffering the breakthrough pain episodes. The aim of this study was to determine, whether patients suffering the cancer chronic pain are being informed by physicians working in palliative care outpatients and pain clinics about BtP occurrence and treatment, as well as how patients are utilizing the rescue medications.

Material and methods. Six hundred seventy eight patients participated in the study. The common demographic (age, sex), disease-related, background pain (including mode and effectiveness of treatment) data were collected. The information about breakthrough pain occurrence, number of episodes, BtP management, frequency of rescue medications dosing and effectiveness of these medications were also collected.

Results. Over 75% of them had been prescribed strong opioid and almost 25% of the patients — weak opioid. 58% had uncontrolled background pain. BtP was reported by 69,3% of these patients, most commonly one or two episodes per day. Only 3% of patients experienced more than 4 episodes a day. As a rescue medication patients usually used morphine, followed by nonsteroidal antiinflamatory drugs and paracetamol, but statistically not every time they experienced the BtP.

Conclusion. This study confirmed that patients followed by palliative care outpatients and pain clinics receive information about background and breakthrough pain, and are well orientated in pain medications. The problem emerges in proper utilization of rescue medications, most commonly prescribed as oral.

Adv. Pall. Med. 2011; 10, 1: 29–34

Get Citation

Keywords

breakthrough pain; cancer pain; palliative care outpatient; pain clinic

About this article
Title

Breakthrough pain in patients with chronic cancer pain followed by palliative care and pain clinic physicians — an observational study

Journal

Advances in Palliative Medicine

Issue

Vol 10, No 1 (2011)

Pages

29-34

Published online

2011-04-26

Bibliographic record

Advances in Palliative Medicine 2011;10(1):29-34.

Keywords

breakthrough pain
cancer pain
palliative care outpatient
pain clinic

Authors

Marcin Janecki
Joanna Janecka

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