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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 41-43

Attitude of medical practitioners to chronic pain management at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital

1 Usman Danfodio University Teaching Hospital, Sokoto, Sokoto State, Nigeria
2 University of Maiduguri Teaching hospital, PMB 1414, Maiduguri, Borno State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
S A Balarabe
Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital, P.M.B2370. Sokoto, Sokoto State
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Background: Chronic pain occurs in various medical conditions including among others, arthritis, herniated disc, cancer and trauma. It is a leading cause of lost workdays and economic loss worldwide. Doctors may view pain as a mere vexing side effect of a primary medical conditions rather than a serious and consequential health issues in its own right. This study seeks to assess doctor's attitude towards management of chronic pain. Methods: The study was conducted between January and March 2007 at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, using a 7-item self-administered questionnaire to determine the attitude of medical practitioners towards pain management. Data obtained included gender, type of chronic pain disorder, goal in pain management, use of analgesic and strong opiates; and multi-disciplinary approach to chronic pain management. Results: Of the 65 medical practitioners, 52 (80%) responded. Respondents represented the following medical disciplines: Internal Medicine (17.3%) Surgery (5.8%) Pediatrics (11.4%) Obstetrics/ Gynecology (15.9%o) and General Out-Patient Department (49.6%>). Low back pain was the commonest type of chronic pain. It was observed in 48.1%> of patients. The main goals of medical practitioners in chronic pain management included adequate pain relief (65.4%), absolute pain relief (30.8%) and moderate pain relief (3.8%). A high percentage (51.9%>) of clinicians showed negative psychologic traits regarding use of opiates. Conclusion: Adequate rather than absolute pain relief or moderate pain relief is the main goal of chronic pain management among medical practitioners. Many clinicians demonstrated negative attitude regarding use of opiates.

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