Why people accept opioids: Role of general attitudes toward drugs, experience as a bereaved family, information from medical professionals, and personal beliefs regarding a good death

Takuya Shinjo, Tatsuya Morita, Kei Hirai, Mitsunori Miyashita, Megumi Shimizu, Satoru Tsuneto, Yasuo Shima

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Context. Many surveys have evaluated patient-related barriers to pain management.

Objectives. To explore associations between a preference for opioids and general attitudes toward drugs, the experience and information received as a bereaved family, and beliefs regarding a good death.

Methods. A cross-sectional survey, performed in 2010, of bereaved families of patients with cancer in palliative care units across Japan. Questionnaires were sent to 997 families.

Results. A total of 66% of families responded. Of these, 224 responses were excluded because the family declined to participate in the study (n = 38), the patient was not receiving any opioid analgesics, and there were missing data (n = 164), or data were missing for the primary end points (n = 22). Thus, 432 responses were finally analyzed (43%). In total, 26%, 41%, and 31% of family members stated that they strongly want to receive, want to receive, or slightly want to receive opioids if needed in the future, respectively. Determinants associated with a preference for receiving opioid treatment were the following: a general appreciation of the drugs (P = 0.005), witnessing an improvement in the patient's quality of life as a result of pain relief (P = 0.003), information provided by medical professionals that the opioid could be discontinued if side effects developed (P = 0.042), and the belief that a good death was one that was free from pain and physical distress (P < 0.001).

Conclusion. More than 90% of bereaved families whose relatives were treated with opioid analgesics reported a preference to receive opioid analgesics for the treatment of cancer pain, if necessary, in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-54
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Pain and Symptom Management
Volume49
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Jan 1

Keywords

  • Opioid
  • attitudes
  • bereaved family
  • cancer
  • pain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

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