Pain Management in Opioid Dependent Patients, Annotated Bibliography

Wintle, D. (2008). Pain management for the opioid-dependent patient. British Journal of Nursing, 17(1), 47-51. Print.

This article describes the enactment and evaluation of an intervention aimed at improving the quality of pain management care received by patients who are dependent on opiates. An initial literature search provided the author with evidence that guidelines were required for hospitals to achieve the desired goal. The developed strategies addressed several aspects of the pain management system, such as removing barriers like prejudices that reduce the accuracy of assessment, the importance of accurate drug histories, recognizing the impact of opioid withdrawal on behavior, the necessity of psychological care, and improved dosing training/education for analgesics and methadone. Guidelines were taught during weekend sessions and resulted in improved reports of care quality from both practitioners and patients. This research is important because it demonstrated the potential for the usefulness of similar guidelines in regular health care systems, though future research will need to be experimentally designed to show a significant mathematical difference.

Liberto, L. A., & Fornili, K. S. (2013). Managing pain in opioid-dependent patients in general hospital settings. Medsurg Nursing: Official Journal of the Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses, 22(1), 33. Print.

The study is an unstructured review of research that relates to the factors influencing the quality of pain management care in hospitals for patients that are addicted to opioids. After touching upon the definition of dependence and existing treatments, the authors identify several important variables like training deficits, lack of protocols, and existing stigmas as barriers to improving the quality of the identified health care services. Screening issues and educational limitations are other important concepts that are considered. This research is helpful but would be more valuable by addressing potential confounds with a scientific design.