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Pain at the end of life 

Pain at the end of life
Chapter:
Pain at the end of life
Author(s):

Judith A. Paice

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199332342.003.0007
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date: 12 November 2018

Pain is highly prevalent in palliative care, yet the majority of individuals can obtain good relief with available treatment options. An awareness of barriers to adequate pain care allows palliative care nurses to assess for and to plan interventions to overcome these obstacles when caring for patients. Advocacy is a critical role of the palliative care nurse. Assessment of pain, including a thorough history and comprehensive physical exam, guides the development of the pharmacological and nonpharmacological treatment plan. Pharmacological therapies include nonopioids, opioids, coanalgesics, cancer therapies and, in some cases, interventional techniques. Intractable pain and symptoms, although not common, must be treated aggressively. In some cases, palliative sedation may be warranted.

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