Susan Beck Discusses Pain Management

December 10, 2014
Susan Larsen Beck PhD, APRN, FAAN, AOCN

Susan Larsen Beck PhD, APRN, FAAN, AOCN, professor, College Of Nursing, University of Utah, Member, Cancer Control and Population Sciences Program, Huntsman Cancer Institute, discusses pain management in oncology.

Susan Larsen Beck, PhD, APRN, FAAN, AOCN, professor, College Of Nursing, University of Utah, Member, Cancer Control and Population Sciences Program, Huntsman Cancer Institute, discusses pain management in oncology.

Beck says she feels researchers have taken a step backwards, not forwards, when it comes to pain management. While many patients, including oncology patients, struggle with pain and chronic pain, there are also people that become addicted to pain medications and die.

Beck says these two different groups are not coming together to find a solution to effectively manage pain while reducing the mortality associated with prescription drug abuse. There have been regulatory moves that have changed the environment to increase the reluctance of providers to provide effective pain management. Beck feels that some patients are also reluctant to take pain medication, because they fear that they will become addicted to it.

A national study found that the average pain for hospitalized patients around the country was 6.2 on a 0-10 scale with 30% of patients being in severe pain most of the time. In oncology, the average pain reported was about 5.7, Beck says. Previous research conducted by Beck found that the mean of the worst pain was in that range, where here it was reported to be the mean of the average pain.