Objective: We conducted this study to evaluate the knowledge and attitudes of interns regarding cancer pain and its management.
Materials and methods: This study included 116 interns recently graduated from the Faculty of Medicine, Prince of Songkla University. They provided their demographic characteristics and completed a questionnaire in regards to their knowledge and attitudes about cancer pain and its management.
Results: Data were obtained from 116 interns. The majority of interns did not hesitate to provide maximal doses of analgesics for patients in severe pain when the prognosis was poor. A significant number favored to prescribe pethidine more than morphine and thought that pethidine caused less harmful effects in long-term use. Most respondents agreed or strongly agreed that they would prescribe opioids carefully to avoid tolerance and addiction. They considered that barriers to effective pain management were inadequate knowledge, inadequate pain assessment and lack of time to attend patients’ requirements.
Conclusion: The interns demonstrated positive attitudes toward cancer pain and its management, principally on opioid usage. However, a significant number of them had misconceptions in terms of knowledge for prescribing opioids. To provide better cancer pain management, attention must be given to improving the curriculum and integrating it into clinical practice.
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