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Patients Say Pain Control Is Key to Quality of Care in Hospitals

Patient-provider shared decision-making may improve pain outcomes

FRIDAY, March 13, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Management of pain is an important component in improving the quality of care in hospitals from a patient’s perspective, according to research published in the March issue of Pain Practice.

Sigridur Zoëga, of the University of Iceland in Reykjavik, and colleagues conducted a point-prevalence study of pain and pain outcomes involving 308 alert patients, aged 18 years and older (mean age, 67.5 years), who were hospitalized for 24 hours or more.

The researchers found, based on the response of 73 percent of participants, that pain prevalence during the past 24 hours was 83 percent. Severe pain (score of seven or greater on a scale of zero to 10) was reported by 35 percent. Moderate to severe interference with activities and sleep was reported by 36 and 29 percent of participants, respectively. A weak association was observed between patient participation in decision-making and improved pain outcomes, including less time spent in severe pain and more pain relief. Factors related to patient satisfaction were spending less time in severe pain, more pain relief, and lower pain severity (all P < 0.05).

“Optimal pain management, with emphasis on patient participation in decision-making, should be encouraged in an effort to improve the quality of care in hospitals,” the authors write.

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