The purpose of this meta-analysis was to evaluate patients' assessment of fentanyl iontophoretic transdermal system (ITS) and morphine intravenous patient-controlled analgesia (IV PCA) ease of care (EOC) using a validated patient EOC questionnaire. Fentanyl ITS is a preprogrammed, needle-free PCA system used for the management of acute pain in postoperative patients.Methods:
This meta-analysis assessed the patient EOC of fentanyl ITS and morphine IV PCA using data from three randomized, active-comparator trials in adult postoperative patients with moderate-to-severe pain. All three studies utilized a validated patient EOC questionnaire which consists of 23 items grouped into seven subscales (confidence with device, comfort with device, movement, dosing confidence, pain control, knowledge/understanding, and satisfaction). Each item is scored on a six-point Likert scale. The weighted mean difference between treatments was calculated for the overall EOC and for each of the seven subscales.Results:
The EOC analyses were based on responses to questionnaires from 1,943 patients treated with either fentanyl ITS (n = 961) or morphine IV PCA (n = 982). There was a statistically significant advantage in favor of fentanyl ITS over morphine IV PCA in terms of overall EOC (weighted mean difference = 0.28; 95% confidence interval (0.22 to 0.34); P < 0.0001). Five of the seven subscales (confidence with device, comfort with device, movement, dosing confidence, and knowledge/understanding) on the patient EOC questionnaire showed a statistically significant advantage for fentanyl ITS versus morphine IV PCA. The two subscales that did not show any difference were pain control (P = 0.7303) and satisfaction (0.0561).Conclusion:
In this meta-analysis, fentanyl ITS is associated with some advantages in terms of an EOC profile from a patients' perspective when compared with morphine IV PCA.