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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2013  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 24-27

Cancer pain and management: Providers' perspective in Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria, Nigeria


1 Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria, Nigeria
2 Department of Surgery, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria, Nigeria
3 Department of Radiation Oncology, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria, Nigeria
4 Department of Anaesthesia, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Adekunle O Oguntayo
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0331-3131.119983

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Background: Pain is a frequent disturbing symptom of cancer, the prevalence and severity of which depend on the primary tumor, its metastatic sites, and the disease stage. The place of pain management in cancer patients cannot be over emphasized. Proper management results in improved quality of life. Aims: To assess providers' attitude and practice toward cancer pain management in Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Teaching Hospital, Zaria, Nigeria. Materials and Methods: This was a cross-sectional descriptive pilot study on provider perspectives on pain management in cancer patients. A structured self-administered questionnaire was completed by 79 medical practitioners of various specialties and ranks. Results: Seventy-nine clinicians were recruited for the study. The majority of the respondents, 36 (46%), believe that pain was the commonest symptom in cancer patients. Most, 61 (78%), of the doctors assessed pain using subjective methods and only 30 (29%) of the respondents were conversant with other treatment options for pain. Fifty (64.3%) use analgesia, and their choices were guided mainly by the response of the patients. Forty-eight (61.5%) of those who admit to the use of analgesia, were actually limited by the side effects of the drugs. More than half (57.6%) believed that pain management in our settings is suboptimal, and the commonest limitation to optimal pain management in our settings was availability and affordability of drugs. Conclusion: Professional education needs to focus on the proper assessment of pain, the management of side effects of analgesics, and the use of adjuvant therapies for pain. A better understanding of the pharmacology of opioid analgesics is also needed.


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