Purpose: To evaluate oncology outpatients' level of adherence to their analgesic regimen during a 5-week period. Patients and Methods: A random sample of 65 adult oncology outpatients with a Karnofsky performance status score of ≥ 50, an average pain intensity score of ≥ 2.5, and radiographic evidence of bone metastasis were recruited for this longitudinal study from seven outpatient settings. On a daily basis, patients rated their level of pain intensity and recorded pain medication intake. Adherence rates for opioid analgesics prescribed on an around-the-clock (ATC) and on an as-needed (PRN) basis were calculated on a weekly basis. Results: Overall adherence rates for ATC opioid analgesics ranged from 84.5% to 90.8% and, for PRN analgesics, from 22.2% to 26.6%. No significant differences over time were found in either of these adherence rates. Conclusion: One factor that seems to contribute to ineffective cancer pain management is poor adherence to the analgesic regimen.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research