Postoperative Pain Management Outcome in Chinese Inpatients

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In the absence of pain management outcome reports representing mainland China, the purposes of this study were to describe the outcome of postoperative pain management and the relationship between patient satisfaction and clinical outcomes in an indigenous Chinese population. From a sample of 388 second-day-postoperative inpatients, 304 (78%) reported pain in the past 24 hours and were enrolled in the study. Mean ratings for pain were moderate to severe. Patients reported mild to moderate pain-related interference with mood and physical activities. There were significant differences on worst pain intensity and pain interference with daily activity in the past 24 hours for different types of surgery. Top-ranked nonpharmacologic methods for managing pain were tolerating pain, changing positions, and family support. As measured by the Pain Management Index, 60.2% of patients were inadequately treated for pain, yet patients reported high satisfaction with pain management. Patient satisfaction, however, was inversely and significantly correlated with pain intensity. Study results indicate a need for standardized policies and guidelines about pain management and education among providers and for patients and families to overcome the suboptimal pain outcomes among this Chinese population.

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