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Table 3 Attitudes and experiences concerning pain, the prescription of opioids and consultation

From: The use of opioids at the end of life: the knowledge level of Dutch physicians as a potential barrier to effective pain management

  General practitioners Elderly care physicians Clinical specialists p-value* Total
  n = 182 n = 110 n = 112   n = 406
  % agree % agree % agree   % agree
Pain      
• In case of a change in pain symptomatology, I always take a comprehensive pain history 74 64 73 ≥0.05 70
• In practice I find good pain control complex 60 56 65 ≥0.05 60
• With the current medical possibilities, pain is always controllable 21 26 29 ≥0.05 24
• When a patient is in pain, he/she will always indicate this 16 8 17 ≥0.05 14
Prescribing opioids      
• When prescribing opioids, I always prescribe a maintenance dosage plus a dosage to be used when needed (break-through medication) 90 68 84 ≥0.05 80
• Nursing/care staff are reluctant to administer the opioids I prescribe 4 4 10 ≥0.05 6
• I try to delay the prescription of opioids for as long as possible 4 9 7 ≥0.05 6
Consultation      
• Inadequate support from the pharmacist, hampers pain management 7 8 3 ≥0.05 6
• Asking for consultation feels like personal defeat 2 2 4 ≥0.05 2
  % yes % yes % yes   % yes
Laxative and anti-emetic      
• As a general rule, I combine the prescription of an opioid with a laxative 94 69 76 <0.05 83
• As a general rule, I combine the prescription of an opioid with an anti-emetic 8 2 13 ≥0.05 8
  1. * chi-square test testing differences between the three groups of physicians
  2. including 2 physicians who did not specify their specialty