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      The Good Pain Management (GPM) Ward Program in China and its impact on Chinese cancer patients: the SYSUCC experience

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          To improve cancer pain management, the Medical Oncology Department of Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center (SYSUCC) launched the Good Pain Management (GPM) Ward Program, which has been recognized by the Chinese Ministry of Health and promoted throughout the nation. This retrospective case-control study was designed to evaluate the effectiveness of the program. Patients diagnosed with malignant solid tumors with bone metastasis were eligible. Patients who were admitted 6 months before the initiation of the GPM program were used as the control group, and patients admitted 6 months after the initiation of the program were used as the GPM group. The pain-reporting rate and pain management index (PMI) were calculated. The pain levels before and after pain management were compared. A total of 475 patients (244 in the control group and 231 in the GPM group) were analyzed. The pain-reporting rate of the GPM group was significantly higher than that of the control group (62.8% vs. 37.7%, P < 0.001). The PMI of the GPM group was significantly higher than that of the control group (0.083 vs. -0.261, P < 0.001). Therefore, the GPM Ward Program improved the pain management of cancer patients and provided experience for improving cancer pain management in the future.

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          Most cited references 31

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          Pain and its treatment in outpatients with metastatic cancer.

          Pain is often inadequately treated in patients with cancer. A total of 1308 outpatients with metastatic cancer from 54 treatment locations affiliated with the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group rated the severity of their pain during the preceding week, as well as the degree of pain-related functional impairment and the degree of relief provided by analgesic drugs. Their physicians attributed the pain to various factors, described its treatment, and estimated the impact of pain on the patients' ability to function. We assessed the adequacy of prescribed analgesic drugs using guidelines developed by the World Health Organization, studied the factors that influenced whether analgesia was adequate, and determined the effects of inadequate analgesia on the patients' perception of pain relief and functional status. Sixty-seven percent of the patients (871 of 1308) reported that they had had pain or had taken analgesic drugs daily during the week preceding the study, and 36 percent (475 of 1308) had pain severe enough to impair their ability to function. Forty-two percent of those with pain (250 of the 597 patients for whom we had complete information) were not given adequate analgesic therapy. Patients seen at centers that treated predominantly minorities were three times more likely than those treated elsewhere to have inadequate pain management. A discrepancy between patient and physician in judging the severity of the patient's pain was predictive of inadequate pain management (odds ratio, 2.3). Other factors that predicted inadequate pain management included pain that physicians did not attribute to cancer (odds ratio, 1.9), better performance status (odds ratio, 1.8), age of 70 years or older (odds ratio, 2.4), and female sex (odds ratio, 1.5). Patients with less adequate analgesia reported less pain relief and greater pain-related impairment of function. Despite published guidelines for pain management, many patients with cancer have considerable pain and receive inadequate analgesia.
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            Malignant bone pain: pathophysiology and treatment.

             S Mercadante (1996)
            The presence of bone metastases predicts the presence of pain and is the most common cause of cancer-related pain. Although bone metastases do not involve vital organs, they may determine deleterious effects in patients with prolonged survival. Bone fractures, hypercalcaemia, neurologic deficits and reduced activity associated with bone metastases result in an overall compromise in the patient's quality of life. A metastasis is a consequence of a cascade of events including a progressive growth at the primary site, vascularization phase, invasion, detachment, embolization, survival in the circulation, arrest at the site of a metastasis, extravasion, evasion of host defense and progressive growth. Once cancer cells establish in the bone, the normal process of bone turnover is disturbed. The different mechanisms responsible for osteoclast activation correspond to typical radiologic features showing lytic, sclerotic or mixed metastases, according to the primary tumor. The release of chemical mediators, the increased pressure within the bone, microfractures, the stretching of periosteum, reactive muscle spasm, nerve root infiltration and compression of nerves by the collapse of vertebrae are the possible mechanisms of malignant bone pain. Pain is often disproportionate to the size or degree of bone involvement. A comprehensive assessment including a trusting relationship with the patient, taking a careful history of the pain complaint, the characteristics of the pain, the evaluation of the psychological status of the patient, neurological examination, the reviewing of diagnostic studies and laboratory findings, and individualization of the therapeutic approach, should precede any treatment. Radiotherapy is the cornerstone of the treatment. Low doses given in a single session are safe and effective, and reduce distress and inconvenience associated with repeated session. Radioisotopes are more imprecise in delivering specific doses of radiation, but have less toxicity and easy administration as well as effectiveness in subclinical sites of metastases, although storage, dispensing and administration should be under strict control. Chemotherapy and endocrine therapy are difficult to measure in terms of pain relief. Prophylactic fixation surgery can lead to improved survival and quality of life of patients with bone metastases. Surgical treatment should be undertaken when fracture occurs. Careful selection of patients for surgical spinal decompression is required. The potential benefits of surgical interventions have to be tempered with patient survival. The use of analgesics according to the WHO ladder is recommended. There is no clear evidence that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) have a specific efficacy in malignant bone pain. The difficulty with incident pain is not a lack of response to systemic opioids, but rather that the doses required to control the incidental pain produce unacceptable side-effects at rest. Alternative measures are often required. The inhibition of bone resorption and hypercalcaemia can be reduced by the use of bisphosphonates. This class of drugs potentiate the effects of analgesics in improving metastatic bone pain. Invasive techniques are rarely indicated, but may provide analgesia in the treatment of pain resistant to the other modalities. Neural blockade should never be used as the sole modality for malignant bone pain, but should be considered as a helpful in specific pain situations. Careful appraisal and the application of a correct approach should enable the patient with bone metastases to obtain an acceptable pain relief despite the advanced nature of their malignant disease.
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              High prevalence of pain in patients with cancer in a large population-based study in The Netherlands.

              At present, no definite conclusions can be drawn about the real extent of the pain suffered by cancer patients. A population-based study was conducted to obtain reliable information about the prevalence and severity of pain in cancer patients (all phases) and about predictors of pain. A representative sample of cancer patients was recruited in the area from a cancer registry. Pain was assessed by the Brief Pain Inventory (BPI). Adequacy of pain treatment was assessed with the Pain Management Index (PMI). We found that 55% of the 1429 respondents had experienced pain past week; in 44% (n=351), the pain was moderate to severe (BPI score>or= 4). Total prevalence of pain/moderate to severe pain was present in 49%/41% in patients with curative treatment >or=6 months ago, 57%/43% in patients with current curative treatment or treatment <6 months ago, 56%/43% in patients with current palliative anti-cancer treatment and in 75%/70% in patients for whom treatment was no longer feasible. Positive predictors of the prevalence of pain were lower education level, more advanced disease and haematological (excluding (non)-Hodgkin lymphoma), gastro-intestinal, lung, or breast malignancies. According to the PMI, analgesic treatment was inadequate in 42% of the patients. Negative predictors of adequate treatment were current curative anti-cancer treatment and low education level. A substantial proportion of cancer patients does suffer from moderate to severe pain and does not receive adequate pain treatment.

                Author and article information

                Chin J Cancer
                Chin J Cancer
                Chinese Journal of Cancer
                Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center
                July 2014
                : 33
                : 7
                : 323-329
                Authors' Affiliation:, State Key Laboratory of Oncology in South China, Collaborative Innovation Center for Cancer Medicine, Department of Medical Oncology, Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510060, P. R. China.
                Author notes

                These authors contributed equally to this work.

                Corresponding Author: Li Zhang, Department of Medical Oncology, Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center, Dongfeng Road East 651, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510060, P. R. China. Tel: +86-20-87343458; Fax: +86-20-87343565; Email: zhangli63@ .
                Chinese Journal of Cancer

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License, which allows readers to alter, transform, or build upon the article and then distribute the resulting work under the same or similar license to this one. The work must be attributed back to the original author and commercial use is not permitted without specific permission.

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