Healthcare related barriers to pain management using opioids in palliative care- A cross- sectional study done in Kenya

  • J.N. Mutinda
  • A.M. Kyalo
  • S. Oluchina


Background: Satisfactory pain management is an essential component of palliative care, which emphasizes on pain and symptom management in life-limiting disease management. Unfortunately, many barriers interfere with the pain management process. Objective: To determine healthcare related barriers to pain management by use of opioids among palliative care patients.
Methods: A cross sectional study conducted among 238 nurses working in Embu and Machakos county referral hospitals and palliative care units was used to investigate the barriers.
After determining sample size using Slovin’s formula systematic random sampling was done to get the 238 participants from 600 nurses working in the clinical areas. A pretested questionnaire modified from the Nurses’ Knowledge and Attitudes Survey Regarding Pain (NKASRP) tool was used to collect the data which was entered in epidata 3.1, analyzed in Stata Version 14 & Excel with presentation of the results done in charts and figures.
Results: Respondents had varied demographic characteristics. Identified barriers to pain management were Prescriber related, knowledge deficit and Attitude related.
Conclusion: To overcome the barriers which hinder effective pain control the following was recommended: continued professional education and constant clinical exposure to pain management practice, and further research in the area.


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eISSN: 0012-835X