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Assessing the relationship between the level of pain control and patient satisfaction

Authors Phillips S, Gift M, Gelot S, Duong M, Tapp H

Received 3 January 2013

Accepted for publication 11 April 2013

Published 9 September 2013 Volume 2013:6 Pages 683—689


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 5

Shay Phillips,1 Maja Gift,2 Shyam Gelot,3 Minh Duong,2 Hazel Tapp1

1Carolinas Medical Center, Department of Family Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, NC, USA; 2Department of Pharmacy Services, Tampa General Hospital, Tampa, FL, USA; 3University of South Florida College of Pharmacy, Tampa, FL, USA

Purpose: The primary assessment tool used by hospitals to measure the outcomes of pain management programs is the 0–10 numerical pain rating scale. However, it is unclear if this assessment should be used as the sole indicator of positive outcomes by pain management programs. Although it is assumed that pain intensity scores would be correlated with patient satisfaction, few studies have evaluated the association between pain intensity scores and patient satisfaction.
Methods: In this pilot study, we investigated the relationship between pain intensity and patient satisfaction by evaluating 88 patients who received opioid analgesics at a 1018-bed acute care institution. A 14-question survey was adapted from a questionnaire developed by the American Pain Society to assess patient pain control and overall satisfaction with our institution's pain management strategies.
Results: This study found no association between pain intensity score and patient satisfaction with overall pain management (Spearman's rank correlation coefficient = −0.31; 95% confidence interval = −0.79 to 0.39). The majority of the surveyed patients were satisfied or very satisfied with their overall pain management, regardless of their pain intensity score.
Conclusion: These findings contribute to the general understanding that institutions should use pain intensity scores together with a measure of patient pain satisfaction when assessing regulatory and quality control programs.

Keywords: pain management, pain assessment, pain intensity scores, perception, measurement, HCAHPS survey

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