Inadequate pain management is highly prevalent and is associated with significant costs and socioeconomic problems, which can lead to disparities in patient care. Specific groups are at higher risk of this problem. A few studies have evaluated the predictive risk factors of inadequate pain management.
This study evaluated the prevalence and predictive risk factors of inadequate pain management at the primary and secondary care centers with large sample size.
Patients who had been managed in primary and secondary care clinics were asked to report their personal characteristics, pain intensity, pain duration, and analgesics they were receiving in their first visit at our pain clinic. Zelman pain management index was calculated for each patient by analgesic potency minus mean pain intensity. The negative index showed incongruence between pain intensity and analgesic potency score (pain stronger than medication), indicating inadequate pain management.
A negative pain management index was reported in 77% of the 511 recruited patients. Patients with more severe pain were more likely to experience inadequate pain management. A logistic model demonstrated women, people aged 45 - 65 years, illiterates, and obese patients were at higher risks of inadequate pain management. The pain management index was affected by sex and education (via higher pain intensities) and by age and BMI (via lower analgesic potency).
Age, sex, education, and BMI are predictive risk factors of inadequate pain management as a prevalent problem in chronic pain patients.
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