Pain Research and Management

Pain Research and Management / 2015 / Article

Original Article | Open Access

Volume 20 |Article ID 807432 | 6 pages |

Characteristics and Associations of Pain Intensity in Patients Referred to a Specialist Cancer Pain Clinic


BACKGROUND: Uncontrolled cancer pain (CP) may impair quality of life. Given the multidimensional nature of CP, its poor control is often attributed to poor assessment and classification.OBJECTIVES: To determine the characteristics and associations of pain intensity in a specialist CP clinic.METHODS: Consecutive patients referred to the CP clinic of the Portuguese Cancer Institute (Lisbon, Portugal) had standardized initial assessments and status documentation of the following: Brief Pain Inventory ratings for ‘pain now’ as the outcome variable; initial pain intensity (iPI) on a 0 to 10 scale; pain mechanism (using the Douleur Neuropathique 4 tool to assess neuropathic pain); episodic pain; Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group rating; oral morphine equivalent daily dose (MEDD); Hospital Anxiety Depression Scale and Emotional Thermometer scores; and cancer diagnosis, metastases, treatment and pain duration. Univariable analyses were conducted to test the association of independent variables with iPI. Variables with P<0.1 were entered into a multivariable regression model, using backward elimination and a cut-point of P=0.2 for final model selection.RESULTS: Of 371 participants, 285 (77%) had moderate (4 to 6) or severe (7 to 10) iPI. The initial median MEDD was relatively low (30 mg [range 20 mg to 60 mg]). In the multivariable model, higher income, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group rating 3 to 4, cancer diagnosis (head and neck, genitourinary and gastrointestinal), adjuvant use and initial MEDD were associated with iPI (P<0.05). The model’s R2 was 18.6, which explained only 19% of iPI variance.CONCLUSIONS: The diversity of factors associated with pain intensity and their limited explanation of its variance underscore the biopsychosocial complexity of CP. Adequacy of CP management warrants further exploration.

Copyright © 2015 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.

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