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Pain Research and Management
Volume 8 (2003), Issue 4, Pages 187-188
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2003/548943
Editorial

The chronic need to improve the management of pain

Eldon Tunks

Hamilton Health Sciences, Chedoke Site, Chedoke Rehabilitation Centre, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Copyright © 2003 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

In this issue, Drs Morley-Forster, Clark, Speechley and Moulin report on their survey conducted by Ipsos-Reid in June 2001 (pages 189-194). Only physicians who met the eligibility criteria of having written 20 or more prescriptions for moderate to severe pain in the preceding four weeks or having devoted 20% of their time to palliative care were eligible to participate. Sixty-eight per cent of the respondents thought that moderate to severe chronic pain was not well managed in Canada. Despite this opinion, 23% of physicians in palliative care practice and 34% of primary care doctors stated that they would not use opioids to treat moderate to severe chronic noncancer pain even as a third-line treatment after two previous medications had failed. One-quarter to one-third were concerned about the potential for addiction, and a smaller percentage reported concern about the potential for patient abuse and/or misuse, and side effects. Fear of a College audit resulting in the loss of their medical licence was cited by 10% of primary care physicians. When asked what obstacle hindered their use of strong opioid analgesics, an unexplained 10% of palliative care doctors and 14% of primary care doctors answered "nothing in particular".