Pain in Chinese cancer patients under palliative care

Kai-hoi Sze, F.; Chung, T.K.; Lam, K.K.; Lo, R.; Wong, E.; Woo, J.
July 1998
Palliative Medicine;1998, Vol. 12 Issue 4, p271
Academic Journal
Over a 4-month period, 218 Chinese patients with advanced cancer were admitted to a palliative care unit in Hong Kong. Ninety-five (44%) of them had pain. Of these 95, 70 (mean age 61.7 years) were evaluated with the visual analogue scale (VAS) and the numerical rating scale (NRS). Forty-two per cent of the 70 patients were illiterate. Eighty-three per cent had metastases. Eighty-seven per cent had pain due to the disease process. Forty-nine per cent had more than one pain, 54% had moderate pain and 20% had severe pain. The most common primary tumour was lung cancer. NRS scores strongly correlated with corresponding VAS scores, suggesting that NRS can routinely be used for pain intensity assessment in the Chinese. The study also showed that 64% of these patients with pain had moderate to severe disabilities in the basic activity of daily living, although there was no correlation between the severity of pain and the severity of disability.


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