Impact of Opioid on Pain Management in Last Days of Life among Hospice Patients

Palliative care is an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problem associated with lifethreatening illness, through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification and impeccable assessment and treatment of pain and other problems, physical, psychosocial and spiritual (WHO, 2013). Hospice considered to be the model for quality, compassionate care for people facing a life-limiting illness or injury, hospice care involves a team-oriented approach to expert medical care, pain management, and emotional and spiritual support expressly tailored to the patient’s needs and wishes. Support is provided to the patient’s loved ones as well.

Opioid on Pain Management

Pain is extremely common in patients with advanced cancer, with prevalence as high as 80% among palliative patients in last stages, the vast majority of patients with cancer pain require opioids for treatment. Pain is widely prevalent in the last weeks of life regardless of the setting in which patients are being managed. As an example, one estimate suggests that at least one-fifth of the million patients who die in hospitals each year experienced pain during the final admission, a survey of palliative patients in nursing homes found that about 50% had daily pain, which was sever pain in about 85%. Similarly, in a survey of Americans with terminal illness living at home, 50% had moderate to severe pain.

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