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Addressing patients' concerns about pain management and addiction risks.

Goebel JR, Sherbourne CD, Asch SM, Meredith L, Cohen AB, Hagenmaier E, Lanto AB, Simon B, Rubenstein LV, Shugarman LR, Lorenz KA. Addressing patients' concerns about pain management and addiction risks. Pain Management Nursing : Official Journal of The American Society of Pain Management Nurses. 2010 Jun 1; 11(2):92-8.

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Abstract:

Fear of engendering addiction is frequently reported as both a provider and a patient barrier to effective pain management. In this study, a clinical scenario ascertained nursing staff members' usual practice in addressing addiction fears for patients with concerns about the addictive potential of pain medication. One hundred forty-five Veterans Health Administration nursing staff members from eight ambulatory care sites were queried to identify variables associated with proclivity to address patient fears about addiction risks in a population where pain is prevalent and the risk for substance abuse is high. Regarding addressing addiction concerns, 66% of nursing staff were very likely, 16% somewhat likely, 9% unsure, 6% somewhat unlikely, and 2% very unlikely to take action. Health technicians were less likely to address addiction concerns than registered or licensed vocational nurses (odds ratio [OR] 0.116; p = .004). Nursing staff with more years' experience (OR 1.070; p = .005) and higher levels of self-efficacy/confidence (OR 1.380; p = .001) were more likely to engage in discussions related to addiction risks. Targeted efforts to improve pain management activities should focus on retaining experienced nursing staff in initial assessment positions and improving the skills and confidence of less experienced and less skilled staff.





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