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Quality of analgesic treatment in patients with advanced prostate cancer: do we do a better job now? The Swiss Group for Clinical Cancer Research (SAKK) experience


Münger-Beyeler, C; Bernhard, J; Rufibach, K; Morant, R; Schmid, H P (2008). Quality of analgesic treatment in patients with advanced prostate cancer: do we do a better job now? The Swiss Group for Clinical Cancer Research (SAKK) experience. Supportive Care in Cancer, 16(5):461-467.

Abstract

GOALS OF WORK: The aim of this study was to evaluate pain intensity and the application of the WHO guidelines for cancer pain treatment in patients with prostate cancer treated at Swiss cancer centers. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We analyzed a series of five multicenter phase II clinical trials which examined the palliative effect of different chemotherapies in patients with advanced hormone-refractory prostate carcinoma. Of 170 patients, 1,018 visits were evaluable for our purpose, including ratings of pain intensity by patients and prescribed analgesics. MAIN RESULTS: No or mild pain was indicated by patients in 36 to 55% of the visits, more than mild pain in 30 to 46%. In 21% of the visits, the WHO pain treatment criteria (treatment according to one of the three steps; oral, rectal or transdermal application of the main dose; administration on a regular schedule) were fulfilled, and the Cleeland index was positive according to all recommendations. In 6% of the visits, neither the WHO criteria were fulfilled nor was the Cleeland index positive. This indicates insufficient pain treatment not following the WHO guidelines and that the prescribed analgesics were not sufficiently potent for the rated pain intensity. CONCLUSIONS: In this selective Swiss sample, the standard of analgesic treatment is high. However, there is still scope for improvement. This cannot solely be solved by improving the knowledge of the physicians. Programs to change the patients' attitude towards cancer pain, training to improve the physicians' communication skills, and institutional changes may be promising strategies.

Abstract

GOALS OF WORK: The aim of this study was to evaluate pain intensity and the application of the WHO guidelines for cancer pain treatment in patients with prostate cancer treated at Swiss cancer centers. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We analyzed a series of five multicenter phase II clinical trials which examined the palliative effect of different chemotherapies in patients with advanced hormone-refractory prostate carcinoma. Of 170 patients, 1,018 visits were evaluable for our purpose, including ratings of pain intensity by patients and prescribed analgesics. MAIN RESULTS: No or mild pain was indicated by patients in 36 to 55% of the visits, more than mild pain in 30 to 46%. In 21% of the visits, the WHO pain treatment criteria (treatment according to one of the three steps; oral, rectal or transdermal application of the main dose; administration on a regular schedule) were fulfilled, and the Cleeland index was positive according to all recommendations. In 6% of the visits, neither the WHO criteria were fulfilled nor was the Cleeland index positive. This indicates insufficient pain treatment not following the WHO guidelines and that the prescribed analgesics were not sufficiently potent for the rated pain intensity. CONCLUSIONS: In this selective Swiss sample, the standard of analgesic treatment is high. However, there is still scope for improvement. This cannot solely be solved by improving the knowledge of the physicians. Programs to change the patients' attitude towards cancer pain, training to improve the physicians' communication skills, and institutional changes may be promising strategies.

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Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Prevention Institute (EBPI)
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:May 2008
Deposited On:03 Dec 2008 08:50
Last Modified:06 Dec 2017 14:35
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0941-4355
Additional Information:The original publication is available at www.springerlink.com
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s00520-007-0335-7
PubMed ID:17909864

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