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eISSN: 1643-3750

Pain Prevalence and Pain Management in a Chinese Hospital

Hong Xiao, Hui Liu, Jin Liu, Yunxia Zuo, Li Liu, Hong Zhu, Yan Yin, Li Song, Bangxiang Yang, Jun Li, Ling Ye

Department of Pain Management, West China Hospital of Sichuan University, Chengdu, Sichuan, China (mainland)

Med Sci Monit 2018; 24:7809-7819

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.912273

Available online:

Published: 2018-11-01

BACKGROUND: Pain prevalence has been investigation in many developed countries, but integrated information about pain prevalence in Chinese hospitals is lacking. To achieve better pain treatment of hospitalized patients, pain management needs to be investigated. The present descriptive and cross-sectional study was performed to demonstrate the prevalence of pain by comparison with the 4 traditional vital signs, and to investigate pain management in a Chinese teaching hospital.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Structured and systematic interviews were undertaken by independent researchers. During a patient’s hospitalization, the prevalence of pain and the 4 vital signs were recorded. Then, the catalog, severity, causes, duration of pain, and pain management were assessed.
RESULTS: We found: (1) 63.36% of patients (3248 in total) suffered from pain while in hospital, which was 1.8~2.8 times higher than the prevalence of abnormality of the 4 vital signs. (2) 76% of patients had moderate pain and 21.98% had severe pain. (3) Pain intensity differed among patients with different diseases, but did not differ by demographic factors. (4) Acute and chronic pain were present in 68% and 26% of patients, respectively. In addition, 16% of the patients had neuropathic pain. (5) More than half of the patients with pain refused to receive pain-relief medication because they worried about addiction to opioids and the adverse effects of analgesics. (6) Most medical staff properly understood the 3 ladder analgesics.
CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of pain is higher than the abnormality of the 4 traditional vital signs in a Chinese hospital. Although pain management has broadly improved, more patient education is necessary.

Keywords: Epidemiologic Study Characteristics as Topic, pain management, vital signs