Opiophobia is one of the major issues limiting cancer and chronic pain treatment in Poland. This study is the first stage of national survey addressing the issue of opiophobia among professionals and others.
The study included a total of 1248 people, in that 141 doctors (age 24 to 84y; M = 44.29; SD = 13.28), 95 nurses (age 29 to 61y; M = 45.47; SD = 8.94), 167 cancer patients/pts (age 20 to 100y; M = 59.11; SD = 21.27), 131 members of pts families (age 16 to 99y; M = 52,15; SD = 19.85), 312 students (age from 18 to 56y; M = 24.55; SD = 5.41), and 402 others people (age 16 to 99y; M = 3.85;SD = 16.04), defined as a society. Internet or paper version of the questionnaires, which included 8 categories of questions for professionals, 4 for others, including: demographic, job experience with opioids, prescribed painkillers, knowledge about opioids, difficulties and concerns, etc.
65-89% of study participants had experienced cancer in their family, but only 50% identified relatives suffering chronic pain. Despite each Polish physician having the right to prescribe opioid medicines, just 1/5 of them were convinced they have no rights to do this, and 1/3 had never applied to the NHF for special prescriptions for opioids. Approximately 70% of pysicians and 30% of nurses felt qualified in opioid treatment. Fentanyl and buprenorphine patches, as well as morphine tablets were most often the treatment option for chronic pain. Physicians (M = 14.02; max = 20; p
Opiophobia is still a big problem among professionals and nonprofessionals in Poland. However, doctors and nurses are qualified to use these medicines on a daily basis, but they limit prescriptions fearing restrictions from the NHF under pressure from family and patient expectations.
Clinical trial identification
Legal entity responsible for the study
Mossakowski Research Centre; Polish Academy of Sciences
Mossakowski Medical Research Centre; Polish Academy of Sciences
All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.