Anesthetists and Surgeons Predict Postoperative Pain

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Abstract

Purpose:

Nurses, surgeons and anesthetists are responsible for the management of postoperative pain. This study aimed to investigate surgeons', surgical residents', anesthesiologists', and anesthetic residents' predictions of patients' postoperative pain and satisfaction with pain management, compared to patients' postoperative ratings.

Design:

The bias and limits of agreement between physician and patient ratings of postoperative pain were compared.

Methods:

Doctors and patients completed a pain questionnaire (Numeric Rating Scale 11-point) regarding patients' overall pain, worst pain, and dissatisfaction with pain management during the first three days postoperatively.

Findings:

All doctors overestimated the degree of pain. Possible reasons include the efforts of the postoperative multidisciplinary team. Surgeons were the most accurate regarding patients' worst pain. The limits of agreement for doctor and patient ratings were very wide.

Conclusions:

Postoperative pain management is better than predicted.

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