Founded in 1993
  Year: 2010 | Volume: 18 | Issue: 3 | Pages: 65-70
  Article
  HURDLES IN SUCCESSFUL TREATMENT OF CANCER PAIN CAUSED BY PRIMARY HEALTHCARE
Eržebet Patarica-Huber, Nedeljka Boškov
  DOI: 10.2298/AOO1003065P
  Abstract:
  Background: The aim of this study is to envisage the hurdles set by physicians in primary healthcare that can cause, or contribute to unsatisfactory cancer pain management.
Methods: The study has been carried out as a prospective open non-randomized one (based on a questionnaire). It comprised 283 physicians in primary healthcare from 21 institutions of primary healthcare in Serbia. The choice of physicians was done at random, and the completion of questionnaires was voluntary. The questionnaire comprised 12 questions. Among other issues the questions covered the most important characteristics of the analgesics in their opinion, the individual doses of drugs they most often prescribe, maximum daily doses of these drugs they prescribe (tramadol, fentanyl TD, hydromorphone, methadone, IR morphine); whether they introduce opioids and/or increa se the dose autonomously or only upon a specialist's recommendation; and what is preventing them to successfully treat cancer pain; what side effects they fear and others.
Results: Tramadol was favored in the previous year (82.3%), in the last month the physicians prescribed NSAID as therapy in 63.4% of the cases, tramadol was given to 13.60%; fentanyl TD to 13.40%; hydromorphone to 2.7%; IR morphine to 3.80%. Efficiency was marked by 89.80% of physicians as the most important characteristic, tolerability by 82.3%, and duration of effects by 77.4%. Tramadol is most often the choice of therapy in their daily practice although they said it to be less efficient, less tolerable, with shorter analgesic effect, less user friendly, and more expensive compared to fentanyl TD and the other opioids. They said the side effects they fear the most were respiratory depression and sedation. 23.70% of the physicians in the primary healthcare introduce and/or increase the dose of opioids (34.6%) into the therapy autonomously, and 76.30% of them introduce these drugs and/or increase the dose (65.4%) only upon a specialist's recommendation.
Conclusion: Barriers have a great influence on successful treatment of cancer pain. There is a burning need for further education which has to encompass raising awareness of the current guidelines and recommendations in the cancer pain therapy, their acquisition and utilization in everyday practice through interactive workshops with case studies because there is still an alarming lack of knowledge, level of prejudice and apparent opiophobia.
  Key words: Neoplasms; Pain; Drug Therapy; Primary Health Care; Serbia
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Founder, owner and publisher: Oncology Institute of Vojvodina, Serbia
Online since 1997 (Abstracts only); 2000 (Abstracts and Full text)
ISSN: 0354-7310 eISSN: 1450-9520