Persistent pain dominates patients’ lives and has often not been a major concern for health care professionals. Many patients, particularly the elderly, are reticent to report their pain for fear of being seen as ‘difficult.’ Each health professional has an obligation to ask about their patient’s pain and accurately document their responses.
Holistic management must integrate patient-centered concerns and should consider the patient’s wishes, desires, goals, for minimizing local wound pain. Interprofessional health care teams can select from a range of options to help patients effectively manage wound pain. Increased awareness of these options must be raised through coordinated, relevant educational initiatives. Ideally, the aim for wound care practitioners should be to develop treatment and monitoring strategies to improve the lives of persons with chronic wounds. Unless wound pain is optimally managed, patient suffering and the associated costs to the health care system will continue to increase.
- Chronic wound pain is distressing and influences patients’ health-related quality of life
- Noncyclic acute wound pain occurs as single episode, acute wound pain that is best described as the type associated with sharp debridement of a wound
- Cyclic acute wound pain is periodic acute wound pain that recurs, best described as the type associated with routine dressing changes
- Chronic wound pain is the persistent pain that occurs without an event or trigger. It is best described as a throbbing pain with an untreated cause
- It is paramount that healthcare professionals help the patient recognize the pain patterns to assist with specific pain relief strategies
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