Prospective study on prevalence, intensity, type, and therapy of acute pain in a second-level urban emergency department

Paolo Mura, Elisabetta Serra, Franco Marinangeli, Sebastiano Patti, Mario Musu, Ilenia Piras, Maria Valeria Massidda, Giorgio Pia, Maurizio Evangelista, Gabriele Finco

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivistapeer review

25 Citazioni (Scopus)


[Ita:]Aim: Pain represents the most frequent cause for patient admission to emergency departments (EDs). Oligoanalgesia is a common problem in this field. The aims of this study were to assess prevalence and intensity of pain in patients who visited a second-level urban ED and to evaluate the efficacy of pharmacological treatment administered subsequent to variations in pain intensity. Methods: A 4-week prospective observational study was carried out on 2,838 patients who visited a second-level urban ED. Pain intensity was evaluated using the Numeric Rating Scale at the moment of triage. The efficacy of prescribed analgesic therapy was evaluated at 30 and 60 minutes, and at discharge. Data concerning pain intensity were classified as absent, slight, mild, or severe. Pain was evaluated in relation to the prescribed therapy. Results: Pain prevalence was 70.7%. Traumatic events were the primary cause in most cases (40.44%), followed by pain linked to urologic problems (13.52%), abdominal pain (13.39%), and nontraumatic musculoskeletal pain (7.10%). Only 32.46% of patients were given pharmacological therapy. Of these, 76% reported severe pain, 19% moderate, and 5% slight, and 66% received nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or paracetamol, 4% opioids, and 30% other therapies. A difference of at least 2 points on the Numerical Rating Scale was observed in 84% of patients on reevaluation following initial analgesic therapy. Conclusion: Pain represents one of the primary reasons for visits to EDs. Although a notable reduction in pain intensity has been highlighted in patients who received painkillers, results show that inadequate treatment of pain in ED continues to be a problem.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)2781-2788
Numero di pagine8
RivistaJournal of Pain Research
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2017


  • NSAIDs
  • abdominal pain
  • emergency department
  • methoxyflurane
  • oligoanalgesia
  • opioids
  • pain
  • pain assessment
  • pain treatment
  • traumatic pain


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