The number of patients reporting moderate to severe pain two weeks after surgery has decreased by 24% in the last decade, a new study found.
Researchers surveyed 441 patients before they were discharged from the hospital, and then at one, two and three weeks after surgery. Patients were asked to rate their pain intensity and satisfaction with the pain medicine they were given. The results were then compared to a similar study conducted from 1998 to 2002.
The investigators found that 39% of patients experienced moderate to severe pain two weeks after surgery compared with 63% in the previous study.
“During the last 10 years there have been significant changes in hospitals to support better pain management post-surgery,” said lead study author Asokumar Buvanendran, MD, director of orthopedic anesthesia at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, in a press release. “Our study shows that health care providers are implementing better pain protocols and heading in the right direction.”
The number of patients who reported no pain remained at 22%. And patients continued to be satisfied with their pain management.
Increased measures put in place by hospitals and the involvement of physician anesthesiologists have also contributed to this decrease, according to Dr. Buvanendran.
“Greater awareness among health care providers and the implementation of advanced pain measures have led to great improvements. We are moving forward, but there is still plenty to be done to improve pain management and the quality of health care,” he said.
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