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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2012  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 7-10

The prevalence of undertreatment of cancer pain in a Nigerian teaching hospital


1 Department of Surgery, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Shika-Zaria, Nigeria
2 Department of Surgery, University Health Services, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Jerry G Makama
Department of Surgery, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Shika Zaria
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


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Background: Pain is a major problem for patients with cancer and it is often perceived and regarded as inevitable. Cancer pain is treatable, however. Its undertreatment has been a major problem and this is well documented. The aim of this study is to determine the prevalence of undertreatment of cancer pain in Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria, Nigeria. Materials and Methods: This was a cross-sectional study involving adult cancer patients, who were hospitalized in surgical wards of Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria, Nigeria in the month of June 2009. The outcome of treatment and the position of the patient's clinical pain status were weighted using the pain management scale. Data obtained was analyzed using SPSS 11.5 version. Results: A total of 67 cancer patients were admitted in both male and female surgical wards. There were 27 (40.3%) males and 40 (59.7%) females. The age range was 17-75 years with a mean of 44.9 years. The study showed 33 (49.3%) patients had negative scores, 4 (6.0%) had positive scores, while 30 (44.8%) had zero score using the pain management scale score. Therefore, the prevalence of undertreatment, which is equivalent to the patients with negative score, in our center was 49.3%. Conclusion: The prevalence of undertreatment of cancer pain is high in our environment and several factors may be responsible for this high rate. There is the need for training of medical personnel and all health professionals on cancer pain management.


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