1441 - Pain intensity, patient satisfaction and physician’s prescription of outpatients with cancer: a Korea, Regional Cancer Center survey

Date 28 September 2012
Event ESMO Congress 2012
Session Publication Only
Topics Supportive and Palliative Care
Presenter Hyun-jeong Shim
Authors H. Shim1, D.E. Kim1, J.E. Hwang1, W.K. Bae1, I.J. Chung2, S. Cho3
  • 1Department Of Internal Medicine, Chonnam National University Medical School, 519-809 - Gwangju/KR
  • 2Medical Oncology, Chonnam National University Medical School, 519-809 - Gwangju/KR
  • 3Internal Medicine Hemato-oncology, Chonnam National University Medical School, 519-809 - Gwangju/KR



Pain is the one of most common and debiliating symptoms of patients (pts) with cancer. It is known that more than 50-70% of pts with cancer experience pain. The purpose of this study is to assess the prevalence of pain, analgesic use and satisfaction for cancer pain treatment of outpatients.


Between July and August 2010, we enrolled pts who were taking analgesics with cancer in outpatients setting. The pts were asked to complete the self-administered questionnaire to assess their pain intensities and other symptoms in terms of their experience during the preceding 24 hours.


A total of 111 outpatients completed a questionnaire with characteristics, intensity of pain and other related symptoms. The median age of pts was 61 years, and 69.9% were men. Only 8 pts (7%) reported no suffering from pain at the time of the interview. Approximately, 74 pts (67%) had mild pain, 25 (22%) had moderate pain and 4 (4%) had severe pain. Fifty-five pts (49.5%) were being treated with strong opioids. Around 45% of pts (n = 50) were experiencing breakthrough pain one to three times a day and 6.4% (n = 7) were having breakthrough pain more than four times a day, but only 37 pts (33%) were prescribed short acting analgesics for breakthrough pain. There was no change of the dose of opioids analgesics for 61% of pts who had moderate or severe pain even if more analgesics were needed. Pts who were satisfied with their pain management was only 48%, 87% of them had mild pain. The remaining 52% were neither nor dissatisfied, 92% of which had moderate or severe pain. Around 84% (n = 93) pts thought they were asked about their pain, and 79% (n = 88) thought their physicians believed in reported pain intensities. About 50% (n = 56) pts reported that adverse effects of opioids should be anticipated and managed more aggressively. The prevalent symptoms associated with pain were reported; interference of physical activities (68.5%), loss of appetite (49%) and sleep disturbance (32%).


Many number of outpatients with cancer still experienc pain and pain related symptoms. Improvement of cancer pain management is needed in outpatients setting. It is also important to provide adequate information on analgesics and adeverse effects as well as to assess the intensity of pain and change the dose of opioid according to pain intensities.


All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.