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Pain Research and Management
Volume 2016, Article ID 1358593, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/1358593
Research Article

Physicians’ Attitudes to Clinical Pain Management and Education: Survey from a Middle Eastern Country

Department of Pharmacy Practice, School of Pharmacy, Lebanese American University, P.O. Box 36 (S23), Byblos 961, Lebanon

Received 28 June 2015; Accepted 31 July 2015

Copyright © 2016 Soumana C. Nasser et al. 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

Despite promising initiatives to advance the practice of pain management in Middle Eastern countries, their pain care lags behind developed countries. The objectives of this study are to evaluate physicians’ assessment of their own competency in pain management, to assess physicians’ practice related to pain management, and to identify physician-related barriers to effective pain control. A cross-sectional survey was conducted in 3 teaching medical centers in Lebanon targeting the above-mentioned outcomes and assessing the impact of physicians’ years in practice on the studied end-points. A total of 69 physicians were surveyed. Fifty-seven percent reported “very good to excellent” pain management skills; only 25% of them described the need for continuing professional development. When treating patients with pain, 52% of physicians refer to updated international guidelines, whereas 43% rely on their own judgment. Physicians were more likely to consult with another physician (65%) rather than a pharmacist (12%) when treating patients with pain. Fear of adverse effects of analgesics was the most commonly reported barrier (45%) to pain control among physicians from different career stages. Based on these survey findings, national pain management and practice policies are needed to optimize this area of deficiency in patient care.