The significance of pain among Chinese patients with cancer in Hong Kong

Wai Yee Joanne CHUNG, Joseph C. S. YANG, Thomas K. S. WONG

Research output: Contribution to journalArticles

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background : The purposes of the survey were to review the significance of pain and its associate factors among Chinese cancer patients in Hong Kong. 

Methods : It was a retrospective, cross-sectional survey. One hundred Chinese cancer patients were recruited by convenience from hospices and oncology units in Hong Kong. Data of patients' demographic profile, pain relief measures and pain status were collected by interview. 

Results : It was found that the presence of current pain among the subjects was 77.0% which was similar to that reported in the United States and United Kingdom. It indicates that the cancer patients in Hong Kong share the same extent of problem as those in the West. This highlights the needs for managing pain as a priority. Unlike the data showed in the West, the pain intensity in the 77% clustered at the lower end of the NRS. Thus, more than three-quarters of the subjects had pain but the majority of them had mild pain. This result is contradictory with the findings in the western countries. It is possible that this discrepancy is caused by a number of factors related to culture, family network support, perceptual processes in abstractions and properties of the tools employed in the assessment of pain intensity. Seventy-six percent of the patients had regular analgesics for their pain. Among them, apart from analgesics, seventeen received massage, three resorted to psychological counseling and four used other pain relief method, e.g. acupuncture. There was also a significant difference as to the types of cancer and the current pain intensity (n = 81, X²= 15.01, P = 0.04). The differences were demonstrated in liver vs. lung cancers, and liver vs. colorectal cancers (Tukey-HSD test, 0 < 0.05). Those with lung cancer experienced more pain than those with liver cancer. Similarly, those with liver cancer had more severe pain than those with colorectal cancer. However, there was no association between the presence of metastasis and pain on admission, current pain intensity and pain for the past week. 

Conclusions : This survey on the significance of pain demonstrates the extent of the problem in Chinese cancer patients in Hong Kong. It highlights the priority of need in cancer pain management. Copyright © 1999 Taiwan Society of Anesthesiologists.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-14
JournalActa Anaesthesiologica Sinica
Volume37
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1999

Citation

Chung, J. W. Y., Yang, J. C. S., & Wong, T. K. S. (1999). The significance of pain among Chinese patients with cancer in Hong Kong. Acta Anaesthesiologica Sinica, 37(1), 9-14. doi: 10.6955/AAS.199903.0009

Keywords

  • Neoplasms
  • Pain
  • Hong Kong

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