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Patient-related barriers to cancer pain management in a palliative care setting in Hong Kong

Chung, Tak Ki M.N., R.N.; French, Peter Ph.D., R.G.N.; Chan, Sylvia M.Ed., R.N.


This article reviews a study of pain management and its barriers in Hong Kong. Using an interview technique, several measures were used to understand the level of concern in patients about pain, the patients' hesitancy in reporting pain, use of analgesics, and adequacy of medication for pain. A total of nine barriers were identified, which include "addiction," "tolerance," "side effects," "physician distraction," "good patient," "fear of injection," "time interval," "fatalism," and "disease progression." Thirty-nine interviews were carried out. The interviewees were all cancer patients with pain in a palliative setting in Hong Kong. When the findings in Taiwan and the United States were compared, it was found that the cancer patients in Hong Kong had a higher level of concern toward the patient-related barriers. It was also found that the level of concern was generally higher in the group with hesitancy in reporting pain and using analgesics. Last of all, this project also identified the educational needs of patients and health care workers in Hong Kong.

Tak Ki Chung is Acting Nurse Specialist at Shatin Hospital, Hong Kong.

Peter French is Principal of Institute of Advanced Nursing Studies, Hospital Authority, Hong Kong.

Sylvia Chan is a Lecturer at the Institute of Advanced Nursing Studies, Hospital Authority, Hong Kong.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Sylvia Chan, Lecturer, 1/F., Hospital Authority Building, 147B Argyle Street, Kowloon, Hong Kong.

Accepted for publication March 12, 1999.

© 1999 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.