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Keywords:

  • appropriateness;
  • assessment;
  • hospitals;
  • Lebanon;
  • management;
  • pain

Abstract

Rationale  Pain assessment and treatment is influenced by subjective perception of pain. Despite the international efforts to implement guidelines and protocols for pain management, pain continues to be regarded as a complication rather than a primary problem. The literature pertaining to the adequacy of pain management in the Middle East is frail. This study focuses on revealing the implemented practices of initial pain assessment, follow-up and re-evaluation of pain treatment in Lebanese hospitals.

Aim and objectives  The objective of this study is to evaluate the presence and effectiveness of acute pain management and its impact on the quality of life in hospitals throughout Lebanon, in both cancer and non-cancer populations.

Methods  A Lebanese multi-centre, prospective, chart review study was conducted over a period of 3 months. Data on demographics, pain medication, dose, route, duration and adjunct pain management were collected. Appropriateness of pain management was determined as per World Health Organization guidelines. Institutional Review Board approvals were obtained from each hospital.

Results  Results from 582 participants revealed that 50% of initial pain assessment intensity scores were based on the assumptions of health care professionals. Furthermore, as pain severity scores increased, the adequacy of pain management decreased. Only 22% of the patients had a daily follow-up, and the majority of those continued to receive inappropriate therapy.

Conclusion  This study reflects the lack of a well-structured system for pain management in Lebanese hospitals. It underlines the need for pain research in the region. It also highlights the need for implementing the recommendations discussed to minimize risk and optimize pain management.