Vol 14, No 4 (2020)
Research paper
Published online: 2020-09-28

open access

Page views 428
Article views/downloads 460
Get Citation

Connect on Social Media

Connect on Social Media

Knowledge of medical students on the use of opioids in the management of pain in patients receiving palliative care

Bogumił Olczak1, Grzegorz Kowalski12, Sylwia Kropińska2, Wojciech Leppert2, Katarzyna Wieczorowska-Tobis2
Palliat Med Pract 2020;14(4):247-252.

Abstract

Introduction. Pre- and post-graduate education, provided for many years, has quite significantly changed
the perception of the role of opioids in the treatment of patients with pain, mainly chronic pain. However,
research on the knowledge of students on opioids has not been conducted, which makes it difficult to
implement desired changes in educational programmes. The aim of the paper was to evaluate the knowledge
of medical students on selected opioid drugs: tramadol, buprenorphine and oxycodone, based on
a survey filled in after one-week classes in palliative medicine and pain management.
Respondents and methods. The study included 140 fourth-year students of medicine at the University of
Medical Sciences in Poznań who completed one-week classes in palliative medicine and pain management.
Their knowledge on opioid analgesics was checked using an anonymous survey that included 7 statements.
Results. Students demonstrated better knowledge in statements regarding theoretical aspects of the use
of specific opioids and their mechanisms of action. The percentage of correct answers in the group of
statements concerning the availability of specific opioid analgesics was much lower, which confirms that
they have less knowledge in this area.
Conclusions. Paying attention to the characteristics of specific opioids should improve the individual selection,
effectiveness and safety of treatment. Better knowledge on pain management among students,
doctors and the general public may dispel their concerns about using opioid analgesics as well as increase
the effectiveness of pain management and improve the quality of life of patients with cancer and chronic
pain in palliative care.

Article available in PDF format

View PDF Download PDF file

References

  1. Greco MT, Roberto A, Corli O, et al. Quality of cancer pain management: an update of a systematic review of undertreatment of patients with cancer. J Clin Oncol. 2014; 32(36): 4149–4154.
  2. Dzierżanowski T, Ciałkowska-Rysz A. Accessibility of opioid analgesics and barriers to optimal chronic pain treatment in Poland in 2000-2015. Support Care Cancer. 2017; 25(3): 775–781.
  3. Leppert W, Pyszkowska J, Stachowiak A, et al. Dostępność leczenia opioidami w Polsce – na podstawie Ogólnopolskiej Konferencji w ramach Konsorcjum ATOME. Med Paliat. 2015; 7: 84–89.
  4. Apolone G, Corli O, Caraceni A, et al. Cancer Pain Outcome Research Study Group (CPOR SG) Investigators. Pattern and quality of care of cancer pain management. Results from the Cancer Pain Outcome Research Study Group. Br J Cancer. 2009; 100(10): 1566–1574.
  5. Goldberg DS. On the erroneous conflation of opiophobia and the undertreatment of pain. Am J Bioeth. 2010; 10(11): 20–22.
  6. Leppert W. Tramadol as an analgesic for mild to moderate cancer pain. Pharmacol Rep. 2009; 61(6): 978–992.
  7. Schmidt-Hansen M, Taubert M, Bromham N, et al. The effectiveness of buprenorphine for treating cancer pain: an abridged Cochrane review. BMJ Support Palliat Care. 2016; 6(3): 292–306.
  8. Henningfield JE, Sun WZ. Concluding statement - neuropharmacological basis and clinical rationale for control of transdermal buprenorphine as a step II analgesic. Acta Anaesthesiol Taiwan. 2015; 53(2): 77–79.
  9. Schmidt-Hansen M, Bennett MI, Arnold S, et al. Oxycodone for cancer-related pain. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2015; 8(2): CD003870–128.
  10. Ahmedzai SH, Leppert W, Janecki M, et al. Long-term safety and efficacy of oxycodone/naloxone prolonged-release tablets in patients with moderate-to-severe chronic cancer pain. Support Care Cancer. 2015; 23(3): 823–830.
  11. Neumann-Podczaska A, Tobis S, Yermukhanova L, et al. Pain in Advanced Stages of Dementia: The Perspective of Medical Students. Medicina (Kaunas). 2019; 55(5).
  12. Rucińska M, Kieszkowska-Grudny A, Sugajska A, et al. Wiedza studentów na temat stosowania opioidów w leczeniu przewlekłego bólu występującego u chorych na nowotwory. Palliat Med Pract. 2018; 12: 106–117.
  13. Leppert W, Majkowicz M, Forycka M. Attitudes of Polish physicians and medical students toward breaking bad news, euthanasia and morphine administration in cancer patients. J Cancer Educ. 2013; 28(4): 603–610.