Health care professionals culture and pain undertreatment

Pain is a ubiquitous feature of the human experience. Despite scientific progress the increase of pain undertreatment remains a major public health problem. Nurses and physicians continue to undertreat pain even in cases of potential and significant pain relief. The aim of this article is to present the pain undertreatment topic from health care professionals (HCP’s), discussing the issues of pain in the western medical practice culture. Pain continues to be a significant problem in health care because the concept of pain does not conform to the scientific approach to health and disease, a philosophy adopted today by most HCP’s. The pain subjectivity, the often poorly understanding of pain causal basis, the determination of pain as “mere” symptom not as a disease, the limited effectiveness of drugs or surgical techniques, as well as the acknowledgement of patient as the expert of his pain, are the basic elements of medical and nursing culture that on the one hand impede the recognition of pain and on the other hand bind the appropriate forces for its coping. The improvement of pain treatment needs some changes in financing, education and practice of all HCP’s. The cultural and individualized nursing care plans may lead not just to the desirable analgesic result, but also to the total management of pain.

Category: Volume 47, N 2
Hits: 811 Hits
Created Date: 15-06-2008
Authors: Konstantinos Zois , Elisabeth Patiraki