Analgesic use for postoperative pain: Differences arise when comparing departments of surgery

Enrique Soler-Company, Josep E. Baños, Teresa Faus-Soler, Francisco Morales-Olivas, Carmen Montaner-Abasolo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose. The goal of the study is to analyse whether the analgesic therapy of postoperative pain during the first 2 days after surgery differs among the different surgical departments. Methods. Patients were randomly chosen from among all those who underwent elective surgery. Characteristics of analgesic treatment (drug, dosage, schedule) and pain intensity were determined at the postoperative anaesthetic care unit and in the first and second postoperative days on the ward. All comparisons were carried out by surgical departments. Results. Six hundred and twenty-three patients from six surgical departments were studied. Analgesic treatment orders varied greatly among the different departments, and these differences were statistically significant regarding number of drugs, type of drugs, analgesic schedule, and completeness of medical orders. Some differences were also observed regarding drug dosage. Patients from gynaecology and obstetrics, traumatology and orthopaedics and general surgery reported the most severe pain. Conclusions. The treatment of postoperative pain differs among the surgical departments, especially regarding analgesic schedules and completeness of analgesic orders. Analgesic therapy may often be based more on customary habits than on the patients' pain intensity. © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)607-614
JournalPharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2002


  • Analgesic treatment
  • Drug utilization studies
  • Postoperative pain

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