The purposes of this study were: (1) to quantify analgesic use in children with sickle cell disease who were hospitalized for a vaso-occlusive episode, using the Medication Quantification Scale (MQS) and (2) to examine the relationships between pain intensity scores, number of painful areas marked on a body outline diagram, number of word descriptors of pain quality, and amount of analgesic medications administered.
Children (5 to 19 y) were asked daily to provide pain intensity ratings and describe the location and quality of their pain. The nursing flowsheets were also reviewed to determine the dose, routes, and the number of times analgesic medications were administered in the previous 24 hours.
Mean worst pain intensity score on the day of admission was 84.0±9.9 (range 63.8 to 100) on the 0 to 100 Oucher numeric rating scale. The mean MQS score administered on the day of admission was 15.7±4.9 (range 6 to 24). This score decreased significantly by 1.2±0.5 (P<0.0001; range 0.9 to 2.5) each day of hospitalization. Significant correlations were found between various pain characteristics and total MQS scores prescribed at time of admission.
The MQS was a useful and sensitive measure to quantify analgesic use in patients with sickle cell disease who were hospitalized for an acute painful episode. The MQS score accounted for variations in the types of analgesic medications, routes of administration, dosing schedules, and opioid dosing requirements.