Differences in Sensory Pain, Expectation, and Satisfaction Reported by Outpatients with Cancer or Sickle Cell Disease

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Abstract

Background:

Patients with sickle cell disease (SCD) report pain scores that appear greater than those reported in a meta-analysis for patients with cancer, but statistical comparisons of the pain scores from both populations have not been published.

Aims:

The goal of the study described here was to compare pain outcomes reported by outpatients with cancer or SCD.

Design:

Descriptive comparative study.

Setting:

Outpatient oncology or sickle cell clinics. Subjects: The participants were outpatients (N = 415) from three studies: (1) 106 patients with SCD, 93% African-American (referent group); (2) 140 patients with cancer, 90% Caucasian (race discordant); (3) 169 patients with cancer, 20% Caucasian, 65% African-American (race concordant).

Methods:

Patients completed the PAINReportIt including pain location, quality, pattern, intensity, expectation, satisfaction, and demographic questions. Analyses included the χ2 test, analysis of variance, and regression.

Results:

Outpatients with SCD reported more pain location sites than the race-discordant (p < .001) and race-concordant (p < .001) cancer groups; higher pain quality than the race-discordant (p < .001) and race-concordant (p < .001) groups; and greater pain pattern scores than the race-discordant (p < .001) and race-concordant (p < .001) groups. The race-concordant group reported higher worst pain intensity than the SCD (p < .001) and race-discordant (p = .002) groups. The three groups did not differ significantly on pain expectation (p = .06). Regarding satisfaction with pain level, there was a significant difference between the race-concordant and SCD (p = .006) groups, but not between the race-discordant and SCD (p = .12) groups or between the race-discordant and race-concordant (p = .49) groups.

Conclusions:

Outpatients with SCD reported three of four sensory pain parameters that were greater than those reported by outpatients with cancer. A better understanding of these differences is pertinent to improving pain outcomes.

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