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Pain Research and Treatment
Volume 2014, Article ID 628284, 5 pages
Research Article

Pain Prevalence and Management in an Internal Medicine Setting in Italy

Department of Internal Medicine, St. Anna General Hospital, Via A. Moro 8, 44124 Ferrara, Italy

Received 30 July 2013; Accepted 5 November 2013; Published 20 January 2014

Academic Editor: Donald A. Simone

Copyright © 2014 Fabio Fabbian 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.


Background. Since data on pain evaluation and management in patients admitted to internal medicine wards (IMWs) are limited, we aimed to evaluate these aspects in a cohort of internistic patients. Methods. We considered all patients consecutively admitted from June to December 2011 to our unit. Age, gender, and length-of-hospital-stay (LOS) were recorded. Comorbidities were arbitrarily defined, and pain severity was evaluated by Numeric Rating Scale (NRS) on admission and discharge. Results. The final sample consisted of 526 patients (mean age years; 308 women). Significant pain (NRS ≥ 3) was detected in 63% of cases, and severe (NRS ≥ 7) in 7.6%. Pain was successfully treated, and NRS decreased from 4.65 ± 2.05 to 0.89 ± 1.3 ( ). Compared with subjects with NRS < 3, those with significant pain were older (75.5 ± 13.9 versus 72.9 ± 14.5 years, ), and had a higher LOS (7.9 ± 6.1 versus 7.3 ± 6.8, ). Significant pain was independently associated with age (OR 0.984, ), cancer (OR 3.347, ), musculoskeletal disease (OR 3.054, ), biliary disease (OR 3.100, ), and bowel disease (OR 3.100, ). Conclusion. In an internal medicine setting, multiple diseases represent significant cause of pain. Prompt pain evaluation and management should be performed as soon as possible, in order to avoid patients’ suffering and reduce the need of hospital stay.