Barriers To Pain

Great Essays
Reducing Patient-related barriers to pain management
Intro
Pain is one of the most common symptoms of cancer, and one of the most challenging subjects for health professionals including Radiation Therapists to address when treating patients. It is important to recognise that pain is ‘an intensely personal experience with biological, psychological and social components’, which is entirely subjective to the person who experiences it. Despite the development of “novel analgesics and updated pain guidelines”, recent studies emphasize that many cancer pains remain undermanaged. Inadequate pain management can be attributed to patient-related barriers to cancer pain management and it has been well documented by medical literatures over the last two
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In other words, the same pain stimulus may result in differing pain experiences or responses in the same individual depending upon the individual’s perspective of the pain (pg 30). Misconceptions or biases around cancer pain are well documented in medical literatures. The common misconceptions include the view that: cancer pain is inevitable, reports of pain might stop the doctor from curing the cancer, cancer is the most common cause of pain and pain indicates disease progression. ___ emphasizes that these misconceptions can cause patients to report their pain incorrectly and ultimately be undertreated relative to their pain intensity. For example, a patient who has not been explained about side-effects of pelvic irradiation may feel reluctant to report pelvic pain, bladder and bowel changes, which are common symptoms of radiation treatment, because of the misconceptions listed above. Under-reporting pain could lead to undermanaged pain even though these symptoms can be addressed fairly easily if they are reported …show more content…
For example, 9 suggest that interventions in patient attitudes toward opioid analgesics may result in better pain management outcomes. Nevertheless, 12 emphasizes that it is important that pain report be established on respect for the patient’s view so that they can ‘lead to the establishment of trust’. Conversations that are built on trust will in turn allow the radiation therapist to explain the possible causes and consequences of pain including radiation side-effects, which may clear any misconceptions and provide measures to address adequate pain management. 12 further explains that understanding the physiology of pain may reduce the fear associated with pain and, perhaps most importantly, provide a sense of control over what had previously seemed overwhelming. For patients who may be offered opioids for their first time, education around pain medication can inform the patients that most analgesics and opioids have well-known interventions and this may encourage safe administration of pain medications. These interventions include antiemetics to nausea, laxatives to constipation or alternative therapies to

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