• The individual and societal burden of chronic pain in Europe: the case for strategic prioritisation and action to improve knowledge and availability of appropriate care

      Breivik, Harald; Eisenberg, Elon; O’Brien, Tony (2013-12-24)
      Abstract Background Chronic pain is common in Europe and elsewhere and its under treatment confers a substantial burden on individuals, employers, healthcare systems and society in general. Indeed, the personal and socioeconomic impact of chronic pain is as great as, or greater, than that of other established healthcare priorities. In light of review of recently published data confirming its clinical and socioeconomic impact, this paper argues that chronic pain should be ranked alongside other conditions of established priority in Europe. We outline strategies to help overcome barriers to effective pain care resulting in particular from deficiencies in education and access to interdisciplinary pain management services. We also address the confusion that exists between proper clinical and scientific uses of opioid medications and their potential for misuse and diversion, as reflected in international variations in the access to, and availability of, these agents. Discussion As the economic costs are driven in part by the costs of lost productivity, absenteeism and early retirement, pain management should aim to fully rehabilitate patients, rather than merely to relieve pain. Accredited education of physicians and allied health professionals regarding state-of-the-art pain management is crucial. Some progress has been made in this area, but further provision and incentivization is required. We support a tiered approach to pain management, whereby patients with pain uncontrolled by non-specialists are able to consult a physician with a pain competency or a specialist in pain medicine, who in turn can recruit the services of other professionals on a case-by-case basis. A fully integrated interdisciplinary pain service should ideally be available to patients with refractory pain. Governments and healthcare systems should ensure that their policies on controlled medications are balanced, safeguarding public health without undue restrictions that compromise patient care, and that physician education programmes support these aims. Summary Strategic prioritization and co-ordinated actions are required nationally and internationally to address the unacceptable and unnecessary burden of uncontrolled chronic pain that plagues European communities and economies. An appreciation of the ‘return on investment’ in pain management services will require policymakers to adopt a long-term, cross-budgetary approach.
    • Intranasal fentanyl versus intravenous morphine in the emergency department treatment of severe painful sickle cell crises in children: Study protocol for a randomised controlled trial

      Barrett, Michael J; Cronin, John; Murphy, Adrian; McCoy, Siobhan; Hayden, John; an Fhailí, SinéadNic; Grant, Tim; Wakai, Abel; McMahon, Corrina; Walsh, Sean; O’Sullivan, Ronan (2012-05-30)
      Abstract Background Children with sickle cell disease (SCD) frequently and unpredictably present to the emergency department (ED) with pain. The painful event is the hallmark acute clinical manifestation of SCD, characterised by sudden onset and is usually bony in origin. This study aims to establish if 1.5mcg/kg of intranasal fentanyl (INF; administered via a Mucosal Atomiser Device, MAD™) is non-inferior to intravenous morphine 0.1 mg/kg in severe SCD-associated pain. Methods/design This study is a randomised,double-blind, double-dummy active control trial of children (weighing more than 10 kg) between 1 year and 21 years of age with severe painful sickle cell crisis. Severe pain is defined as rated seven or greater on a 0 to 10 age-appropriate numeric pain scale or equivalent. The trial will be conducted in a single tertiary urban paediatric ED in Dublin, Ireland. Each patient will receive a single active agent and a single placebo via the intravenous and intranasal routes. All clinical and research staff, patients and parents will be blinded to the treatment allocation. The primary endpoint is severity of pain scored at 10 min from administration of the study medications. Secondary endpoints include pain severity measured at 0, 5, 15, 20, 30, 60 and 120 min after the administration of analgesia, proportion of patients requiring rescue analgesia and incidence of adverse events. The trial ends at 120 min after the administration of the study drugs. A clinically meaningful difference in validated pain scores has been defined as 13 mm. Setting the permitted threshold to 50% of this limit (6 mm) and assuming both treatments are on average equal, a sample size of 30 patients (15 per group) will provide at least 80% power to demonstrate that INF is non-inferior to IV morphine with a level of significance of 0.05. Discussion This clinical trial will inform of the role of INF 1.5mcg/kg via MAD in the acute treatment of severe painful sickle cell crisis in children in the ED setting. Trial registration Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN67469672 and EudraCT no. 2011-005161-20
    • The knowledge and attitudes of general practitioners to the assessment and management of pain in people with dementia

      Jenning, Aisling; Linehan, Maura; Foley, Tony; Dept. of General Practice University College Cork (BMC Family Practice, 2018-10)
    • The use of modified diets by adults with temporomandibular disorders: systematic review and meta-analysis

      Gilheaney, Órla; Kerr, Patrick; Walshe, Margaret (Irish Dental Association, 2018-10)