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Professionals underestimate patients' pain, suggests comprehensive review

Healthcare professionals should take heed of patients' self-assessment of pain, researchers recommend

Healthcare professionals should take heed of patients' self-assessment of pain, researchers recommend

Patients' experience of pain is consistently underestimated by healthcare professionals, researchers have found.

The comprehensive review presents the findings of the most recently published data comparing pain assessments of adult patients and professionals in clinical practice over a 25-year period. It examined 80 published studies with an overall study population of almost 21,000 patients from a range of clinical environments.

Underestimation of pain by professionals compared with patients was reported in 62 of the 80 studies. There was no difference in 17 and overestimation in one.

The extent of underestimation often increased with pain severity.

Accord between professionals and patients living with cancer about the intensity or severity


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