Ghaya Jouini 1 , 2 , 3 , Manon Choinière 3 , 4 , Elisabeth Martin 2 , 3 , Sylvie Perreault 1 , 5 , Djamal Berbiche 2 , 3 , David Lussier 6 , 7 , 8 , Eveline Hudon 2 , 3 , 9 , Lyne Lalonde 1 , 2 , 3 , 10
24 March 2014
Describe the pharmacotherapeutic management of primary-care patients with chronic noncancer pain, assess their satisfaction with pain treatment, and identify the determinants of their satisfaction.
A cohort study was conducted in Quebec (Canada). Patients reporting chronic noncancer pain with an average pain intensity of at least 4 on a 0–10 scale (10= worst possible pain) and having an active analgesic prescription from a primary-care physician were recruited. They completed a telephone interview and a self-administered questionnaire to document their pain, emotional well-being, satisfaction with treatment, and barriers/beliefs/attitudes about pain and its treatment. Information on pharmacotherapy was based on an administrative provincial database and pharmacies’ charts. Determinants of patients’ satisfaction were identified using multivariate linear regression models.
Four hundred and eighty six patients participated. Their mean age was 58.4 years and they had had pain for a mean of 11.7 years (standard deviation, ±11.1) at an average pain intensity of 6.5 in the past week. Although 90% reported adverse gastrointestinal effects, 36.4% and 54.4% of these patients took no over-the-counter or prescribed medication for constipation or nausea, respectively. On a scale from 0–100, the mean overall satisfaction score was 64.7 (95% confidence interval [CI] =63.5–65.9). Patient satisfaction was low, particularly regarding the “information about pain and its treatment” (mean 50.6; 95% CI =47.6–53.7) and “treatment efficacy” (mean 53.6; 95% CI =51.5–55.6) subscales. The overall treatment satisfaction score decreased with more pain disability, probable depression and anxiety, more barriers to pain treatment, higher incidence of nausea, and use of over-the-counter analgesics.
In primary care, patients’ level of satisfaction with their pain treatment is not optimal. This study underlines how the expanded scope of practice of community pharmacists may allow them to play a pivotal role in providing information, discussing barriers to pain treatment, and monitoring pain disability, and by appropriately managing pharmacotherapy to optimize effectiveness while minimizing adverse effects.