Pain Intensity and Perceived Social Support among Patients with Pancreatic Tumors | OMICS International | Abstract
ISSN: 2167-0846

Journal of Pain & Relief
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Case Report

Pain Intensity and Perceived Social Support among Patients with Pancreatic Tumors

Tomasz J. Stefaniak1,2* Joanna Dziedziul2 Anna M. Walerzak1,2,5 Magdalena Stadnyk2 Arfan Sheikh1 Monika Proczko-Markuszewska1 Dariusz Laski1 Ad J. J. M. Vingerhoets3 Dariusz K. Zadrozny1 Irmina Anna Smietanska4 and Andrzej J. Lachinski1
1Department of General, Endocrine and Transplant Surgery, Medical University of Gdansk, Poland
2Department of General, Endocrine and Transplant Surgery, Laboratory of Psychology of Surgery and Psychosomatics, Medical University of Gdansk, Poland
3Department of Clinical Psychology, Tilburg University, The Netherlands
4Department of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care, Medical University of Gdansk, Poland
5Department of Nephrology, Transplantology and Internal Medicine, Medical University of Gdansk, Poland
Corresponding Author : Tomasz J. Stefaniak
Department of General, Endocrine and Transplant Surgery
Medical University of Gdansk, Poland
PL- 80-210 Gdansk, 17 Smoluchowskiego Street, Poland
Tel: (48) 58 349 30 10
E-mail: [email protected]
Received July 13, 2012; Accepted August 25, 2012; Published August 27, 2012
Citation: Stefaniak TJ, Dziedziul J, Walerzak AM, Stadnyk M, Sheikh A, et al. (2012) Pain Intensity and Perceived Social Support among Patients with Pancreatic Tumors. J Pain Relief 1:110. doi: 10.4172/2167-0846.1000110
Copyright: © 2012 Stefaniak TJ, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Purpose: Patients with pancreatic malignancy suffer from intractable and persistent pain that can only be effectively treated by the use of opioids. Such pain significantly impacts quality of life and becomes the stigma of the disease and dying. The aim of the study was to evaluate the psychosocial correlates of pain among the pancreatic cancer patients, with a special emphasis on social support.

Methods: One hundred and thirty one patients (52 women and 79 men) diagnosed with pancreatic cancer participated in the study. Visual Analog Scale (VAS) was used to assess current pain intensity. Social support was assessed by the subscale “Family and social living” of FACT–G and the Visual Representation Scale PRISM.

Results: There was a strong correlation between pain intensity and the social support measured by subscale of FACT-G in the opioid-using group (measured by VAS r=0.47, p<0.05) and measured with the PRISM (r=0.81, p<0.05). In the opioid-naïve group, there was no relationship between pain and perceived social support level. In women, pain strongly correlated with social support: VAS/FACT correlation was r=-0.64, VAS/PRISM r=-0.62 (both p<0.05).

Conclusions: In patients suffering from pancreatic cancer that use opioids, higher level of pain is connected with higher perceived positive impact of illness on social relations and with higher level of perceived social support. In contrary, in female patients, lower social support is associated with higher level of pain. Social support is an important contributor to pain perception in patients receiving opioids and in female patients.