To measure the prevalence of postoperative pain, an assessment was made of 1490 surgical inpatients who were receiving postoperative pain treatment according to an acute pain protocol.Measurements of pain (scores from 0 to 100 on a visual analogue scale) were obtained three times a day on the day before surgery and on days 0-4 postoperatively; mean pain intensity scores were calculated. Patients were classified as having no pain (score 0-5), mild pain (score 6-40), moderate pain (score 41-74) or severe pain (score 75-100).Moderate or severe pain was reported by 41% of the patients on day 0, 30% on days 1 and 19%, 16% and 14% on days 2, 3 and 4. The prevalence of moderate or severe pain in the abdominal surgery group was high on postoperative days 0-1 (30-55%). A high prevalence of moderate or severe pain was found during the whole of days 1-4 in the extremity surgery group (20-71%) and in the back/spinal surgery group (30-64%).We conclude that despite an acute pain protocol, postoperative pain treatment was unsatisfactory, especially after intermediate and major surgical procedures on an extremity or on the spine.
Sommer, M., de Rijke, J. M., van Kleer, M., Kessels, A. G. H., Peters, M. L., Geurts, J. M. W., Gramke, H. F., & Marcus, M. A. E. (2008). The prevalence of postoperative pain in a sample of 1490 surgical inpatients. European Journal of Anaesthesiology, 25(4), 267-274. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0265021507003031