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Patients’ understanding and use of analgesia for postnatal pain following hospital discharge


Wong, AMW and Zaidi, STR, Patients' understanding and use of analgesia for postnatal pain following hospital discharge, International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy, 39, (1) pp. 133-138. ISSN 2210-7703 (2017) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright Springer International Publishing 2016

DOI: doi:10.1007/s11096-016-0410-6


Background: Postnatal pain is one of the limiting factors in the recovery of women from child birth. Despite the routine prescribing of analgesics for postnatal pain, limited research is available on the use of analgesics by the women in postnatal period.

Objective: To measure the utilisation and effectiveness of prescribed oral analgesics, the incidence and severity of pain, and factors associated with poor pain control on the fifth-day post-hospital discharge in postnatal women.

Setting: A tertiary referral women’s hospital of Western Australia.

Method: Prospective cohort follow-up study of 400 postnatal women at a tertiary referral women’s hospital during May and July 2014. All eligible subjects were contacted for a telephone survey 5 days after their discharge from the hospital. Additional clinical data was collected from the hospital medical records.

Main outcome measure: Pain at discharge, analgesics prescribed on discharge, patient understanding and adherence, and postnatal pain management.

Results: 197 of 400 recruited women completed the telephone survey yielding a response rate of around 50%. 131 Women (66%) reported to be in pain at the fifth-day post-hospital discharge. Older women (p = 0.003) and women who reported to be in pain at hospital discharge were more likely to experience pain at home (p = 0.001). Women were more likely to seek consultation from a healthcare professional (p = 0.001) prior to their scheduled follow up visit, purchase over the counter analgesics from pharmacy (p = 0.012) and seek non-drug alternative (p = 0.019) if they experienced pain at home.

Conclusion: Pain at hospital discharge was found to be a strong predictor of pain at home among the postnatal women in this study. We propose pain at the time of hospital discharge as a useful clinical indicator to identify postnatal women who need additional support to manage their pain at home thus minimising potential harm related to inappropriate use of medications.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Australia, analgesics, hospital discharge, postnatal pain, pain management
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Pharmacology and pharmaceutical sciences
Research Field:Clinical pharmacy and pharmacy practice
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Specific population health (excl. Indigenous health)
Objective Field:Women's and maternal health
UTAS Author:Zaidi, STR (Dr Tabish Razi Zaidi)
ID Code:113086
Year Published:2017 (online first 2016)
Web of Science® Times Cited:1
Deposited By:Pharmacy
Deposited On:2016-12-12
Last Modified:2017-11-02

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