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Barriers to Pain Management among Lithuanian Cancer Patients

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Abstract Objectives: 

The objectives of this study are (1) to describe Lithuanian cancer patients' barriers to pain management as well as pain management outcomes, (2) to check the reliability and validity of the questionnaires used in Lithuanian for the first time, and (3) to formulate patient-centered recommendations for better cancer pain management. Methods: 

Thirty patients from the Pain Clinic of Kaunas University of Medicine Hospital responded to the Lithuanian versions of: (1) Brief Pain Inventory pain scale, (2) Barriers Questionnaire-II, (3) Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, (4) Modified version of the Perceived Involvement in Care Scale, and (5) Medication Adherence Report Scale. Results: 

The translated questionnaires had fear internal consistency reliability and construct validity. Reported average (standard deviation [SD]) pain intensity among Lithuanian cancer patients was 3.9 (1.30) on a scale 0–10. The mean (SD) scores of anxiety and depression among the surveyed patients were 8.7 (4.86) and 7.5 (5.05) on a scale 0–21, respectively. The percentage of the patients, who reported stopping taking pain medicine because of its side effects, was 33.3%. The biggest patients' concerns were about physiological consequences and harmful effects of opioid use. The average (SD) level of perceived communication among Lithuanian patients was 3.1 (0.95) on a scale 0–5, whereas the average level (SD) of self-reported adherence to pain medication among Lithuanians was 13.0 (3.65) on a scale 4–20. Conclusions: 

The authors believe, that to improve cancer pain management in Lithuania (1) more attention should be paid to psychological status of patients, (2) patients should be more educated about the need and consequences of opioid use for cancer pain, and (3) adherence to pain management regimens should be improved.

Keywords: Lithuania; barriers; cancer; pain; patients

Document Type: Original Article


Affiliations: 1: Faculty of Nursing, Kaunas University of Medicine, Kaunas; 2: Department of Philosophy and Social Sciences, Faculty of Public Health, Kaunas University of Medicine, Kaunas; 3: Pain Clinic, Department of Anaesthesiology, Kaunas University of Medicine Hospital, Kaunas, Lithuania

Publication date: March 1, 2010


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