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  • Introduction
  • 1. Advance Care Planning
  • 2. Communicating Bad News
  • 3. Whole Patient Assessment
  • 4. Pain Management
  • 5. Assisted Suicide Debate
  • 6. Anxiety, Delirium
  • 7. Goals of Care
  • 8. Sudden Illness
  • 9. Medical Futility
  • 10. Common Symptoms
  • 11. Withholding Treatment
  • 12. Last Hours of Living
  • 13. Cultural Issues
  • 14. Religion, Spirituality
  • 15. Legal Issues
  • 16. Social and Psychological
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    Site Index
    Back to Module 4: Pain Management
    Why is Knowledge of Pain Management so Important?

    Why is Knowledge of Pain Management so Important?
    • Pain is both prevalent and distressing
      • Pain is a frequent problem in any medical practice, whether associated with advanced illness or other acute or chronic conditions

      • Most patients with advanced life-threatening illness experience pain

      • It is the physical symptom that patients and families fear most
    • Pain is often poorly treated
      • Although physicians now have very effective treatments at their disposal, pain remains one of the most poorly assessed and treated physical symptoms

      • Significant barriers to good pain management that contribute unnecessarily to patient and family debilitation and suffering include:

        • Lack of knowledgeable and experienced physicians
        • Myths about addiction related to pain management

      • Other barriers to adequate pain control that need to be assessed and addressed include:

        • Patient-related barriers
        • Profession-related barriers
        • System-related barriers
    • Pain is typically treatable
      • Adequate pain control is possible in more than 90% of patients if the therapeutic approaches that are within the purview of all physicians are applied systematically

      • Adequate assessment by a knowledgeable physician, often working closely with an interdisciplinary team, can relieve and control pain effectively
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