Pain management key to patient satisfaction, perception of care

Inpatients involved in decision-making and their own pain management experienced greater satisfaction with their hospital care, according to new research published in in the March issue of Pain Practice. Researchers, led by Sigridur Zoëga, who works for the National University Hospital of Iceland in Reykjavik, conducted a point-prevalence study of pain and pain outcomes involving 308 adult patients who were hospitalized for at least 24 hours. Seventy-three percent of the patients responded to the Icelandic version of the American Pain Society Patient Outcome Questionnaire. Eighty-three percent reported the worst pain during the first 24 hours and 35 percent experienced severe pain. Researchers said that patient participation in decision-making was weakly associated with spending less time in severe pain and better pain relief. But patient satisfaction was related to spending less time in severe pain and better pain relief. "Optimal pain management, with emphasis on patient participation in decision-making, should be encouraged in an effort to improve the quality of care in hospitals," the authors concluded. Study abstract