Clinical Edge

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Do Women with BC Use Their Pain Meds Correctly?

J Pain Symptom Manage; ePub 2017 Dec 5; Stephenson, et al

Most women with advanced metastatic breast cancer appear to use their pain medications correctly, researchers concluded after conducting a study involving 53 individuals. Investigators looked at electronic diaries that were kept by participants, who made entries 6 times daily for 2 weeks. Among the results:

  • Patients’ average pain level and whether their pain was better or worse than usual at the time dictated the likelihood of taking medication.
  • Patients with moderate/high pain were more likely than those with low pain to be prescribed and take analgesics.
  • Those with moderate/high pain tended not to vary their medication use based on fluctuating pain.
  • Patients with low pain tended to increase their medication use at times when their pain was higher than usual.
  • They were less likely than patients who typically experienced higher levels of pain to use medication.

The authors noted that providers should be attuned to individual factors impacting pain.

Citation:

Stephenson E, DeLongis A, Bruel B, Badr H. Outpatient pain medication use: an electronic daily diary study in metastatic breast cancer. [Published online ahead of print December 5, 2017]. J Pain Symptom Manage. doi:10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2017.11.032.

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