Prevalence and treatment of cancer pain in Italian oncological wards centres: A cross-sectional survey

Sebastiano Mercadante, Fausto Roila, Oscar Berretto, Roberto Labianca, Stefania Casilini, Bottero Guido, Trova Vittorio, Cascinu Stefano, Di Vito Francesco, Lorusso Vito, Troccoli Giuseppe, Endrizzi Luigi, Daniele Bruno, Martoni Andrea, Marini Giovanni, Vitello Stefano, Romito Sante, Sbalzarini Giovanni, Serravezza Giuseppe, Manente PaoloMolica Stefano, Palazzo Salvatore, Prantera Tullia, Merlano Marco Carlo, Di Girolamo Giuseppe, Amadori Dino, Sobrero Alberto, Algeri Renato, Bretti Sergio, Greco Ettore, D'aprile Modesto, Forcignano Rosa Chiara, Bonetti Andrea, Aitini Enrico, Piazza Elena, Piva Laura, Tabiadon Donata, Carteni Giacomo, Catalano Giuseppe, Alabiso Oscar, Landriscina Gennaro, Dogliotti Luigi, Gebbia Nicola, Palmeri Sergio, Filippelli Gianfranco, Catalano Giuseppina, Berte' Raffaella, Ricci Sergio, Manzione Luigi, Iacono Carmelo, Marangolo Maurizio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: The aim of this national cross-sectional survey was to draw information on pain prevalence and intensity from a large sample of patients who were admitted to oncologic centres for different reasons and to evaluate the pain treatment and possible influencing factors. Materials and methods: A total of 2,655 patients completed the study. Nine hundred and one patients (34%) reported pain. Results and discussions: Higher pain levels were observed in inpatients, in the presence of bone metastases, and with low levels of Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group status. The number of patients receiving strong opioids increased with the highest levels of pain. However, a significant part of patients with moderate-severe pain were not receiving appropriate medication, patients being predominantly administered non-opioid drugs. General practitioners' attitudes did not negatively influence the opioid prescription. Conclusion: The results of this survey indicate a need for continuing educational and informative program in pain management for oncologists and more generally for any physician dealing with cancer patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1203-1211
Number of pages9
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2008


  • Cancer pain
  • Epidemiology
  • Opioids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology

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