Most Report Too Much Hospital Pain

BOCHUM, Germany, Sept. 22 (UPI) — In a study of pain suffered in the hospital, 56 percent of patients say their pain was unbearable, but German researchers say much of this pain is needless.

Christoph Maier of Bochum University Hospital in Germany and coauthors say in their interim report of the Pain-Free Hospital Project they evaluated questionnaires filled out anonymously by approximately 2,250 surgical patients and nearly 1,000 non-surgical patients from 25 German hospitals.

In the period 2004 to 2006, the study participants were interviewed about the intensity of their pain and the effectiveness of pain therapy.

The report, published in the Deutsches Arzteblatt International, says one-third of both the surgical and the non-surgical patients complained of moderate to severe pain at rest, while more than half of each group complained of moderate to severe movement-related pain.

Fifty-six percent described their pain as unbearable, while more than 55 percent of those questioned said their pain therapy in the hospital was unsatisfactory.

However, the researchers say while there is a clear need for improvement in pain therapy, in a small number of hospitals in Germany, exemplary efforts are under way, showing effective pain therapy is possible for both surgical and non-surgical patients.

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