Original Article | Open Access
Initial Pain Management Plans in Response to Severe Pain Indicators on Oncology Clinic Previsit Questionnaires
BACKGROUND: The issue of how to address patient pain in the outpatient setting remains challenging. At the London Regional Cancer Program (London, Ontario), patients complete the Edmonton Symptom Assessment System (ESAS) before most visits.OBJECTIVES:To perform a chart review assessing the frequency and, if applicable, the type of a clinical care plan that was developed if a patient indicated pain ≥7 on a 10-point scaleMETHODS: The charts of 100 eligible sequential outpatient visits were reviewed and the initial pain management approaches were documented.RESULTS: Between December 2011 and May 2012, visits by 7265 unique patients included 100 eligible visits (pain ≥7 of 10). In 83 cases, active pain management plans, ranging from counselling to hospital admission, were proposed. Active pain management plans were more likely if the cause was believed to be cancer/treatment related: 63 of 65 (96.9%) versus 20 of 35 (57.1%, noncancer/unknown pain cause); P<0.001. There were no differences depending on cancer treatment intent or medical service.CONCLUSIONS: Active pain management plans were documented in 83% of visits. However, patients who reported severe pain that was assessed as benign or unknown in etiology received intervention less frequently, perhaps indicating that oncologists either consider themselves less responsible for noncancer pain, or believe that pain chronicity may lead to a higher ESAS pain score without indicating a need for acute intervention. Further study is needed to determine the subsequent effect of the care plans on patient-reported ESAS pain scores at future clinic visits.
Copyright © 2014 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.