Educating, Communicating about Pain Increase Patient Satisfaction. (Power of Perception)

Article excerpt

NEW ORLEANS -- When chronic pain patients felt educated by their physician about the pain, they tended to be satisfied with their care in a recent study. Those patients whose physician disagreed with the patient's assessment of the level of pain were less satisfied, the research showed.

Of 115 non-cancer patients in the cross-sectional, multicenter study, 83 (72%) said they felt well educated by their physicians. The patients were surveyed just prior to the physician visit, and they were interviewed by telephone 2 weeks later, Dr. Ian A. Chen reported at the southern regional meeting of the American Federation for Medical Research.

Patient perception of being educated by the physician was the strongest predictor of increased patient satisfaction, based on bivariate analysis.

Logistic regression analysis also showed that patient satisfaction was associated positively with patient perception of being educated (odds ratio of 4.0), and negatively with physician-patient pain assessment discordance (odds ratio 0.38), according to Dr. Chen, who is with the department of medicine at Eastern Virginia. Medical School, Norfolk.

Discordance, which occurred in 37% of cases, was defined as a difference of 2 or more points on a 10-point scale between the physician and patient assessments of pain.

At the follow-up interview, only 67% of the patients were satisfied with their pain management. …