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Predictors of prescription of morphine for severe cancer pain by physicians in Korea

Cited 20 time in Web of Science Cited 24 time in Scopus

Yun, Y H; Park, S M; Lee, K; Chang, Y J; Heo, D S; Kim, S-Y; Hong, Y S; Huh, B Y

Issue Date
Oxford University Press
Ann Oncol. 2005 Jun;16(6):966-71. Epub 2005 Apr 27.
AdultAgedFemaleHumansKoreaMaleMiddle AgedMorphine/*therapeutic useMultivariate AnalysisNeoplasms/*physiopathologyPain, Intractable/*drug therapyDrug Utilization
BACKGROUND: This study was undertaken to identify predictors of the prescription of strong opioids, which are important for the management of severe cancer pain, by Korean physicians. METHODS: A questionnaire based on a hypothetical case designed to assess the prescription of morphine by physicians was administered to 800 specialists in the Korea Cancer Association, of whom 147 (18.4%) responded, and to 2200 specialists in the Korean Academy of Family Medicine, of whom 388 (17.6%) responded. We used a multidimensional approach to identify the predictors of prescription of morphine by physicians. RESULTS: In the hypothetical case scenario, only 16.5% of the respondents stated that they would prescribe morphine for severe cancer pain. Multiple logistic regression analysis showed that physicians with a positive attitude regarding opioid addiction [odds ratio (OR) 2.62; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.54-4.46], experience of pain assessment (OR 2.09; 95% CI 1.13-3.87), recent residency training (OR 2.27; 95% CI 1.30-4.0) and positive self-evaluation as an oncology specialist (OR 2.60; 95% CI 1.41-4.78) were more likely to prescribe morphine. None of the 13 variables in the knowledge dimension significantly predicted prescription of morphine for severe cancer pain. CONCLUSIONS: The results of the survey suggest that we need to develop strategies to develop a positive attitude toward opioids, to increase experience in pain assessment and to improve cancer pain management training among Korean physicians.
0923-7534 (Print)
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