Pain and anxiety and their relationship with medication doses in the intensive care unit

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Purpose:Pain and anxiety are understudied despite their importance to the general medical condition. The aim of the present study was to examine the effects of pain and anxiety and their relationship to the doses of opioids and anxiolytics administered in intensive care unit (ICU) patients.Methods:The subjects included 1349 conscious, critically ill patients admitted to an ICU. Psychiatrists evaluated the patients daily for pain and anxiety. Data regarding the doses of opioids and benzodiazepines administered were gathered. Linear mixed model was used for analysis.Results:The pain and anxiety experienced by patients in the ICU were significantly correlated. Pain had significant main effects on the dose of opioids administered. No significant effects of anxiety on the daily dose of anxiolytics or opioids given were detected.Conclusions:Due to their closely linked relationship, pain and anxiety, can affect one another, and one can influence the other to appear more severe. In addition, anxiety can be underestimated in ICU patients. The present study suggests the need for precise evaluation and a comprehensive approach to the management of pain and anxiety. In addition, this study implies that management of anxiety may affect pain reduction, given the close correlation between the two.HighlightsThe pain and anxiety experienced by ICU patients were significantly correlated.This study implies management of anxiety.

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