Show Summary Details
Page of

Clarifying the concept of breakthrough pain 

Clarifying the concept of breakthrough pain
Chapter:
Clarifying the concept of breakthrough pain
Author(s):

Giovambattista Zeppetella

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198834359.003.0054
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD MEDICINE ONLINE (www.oxfordmedicine.com). © Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Medicine Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 24 February 2020

The 1990 publication ‘Breakthrough pain: Definition, prevalence and characteristics’ was the first to study to describe breakthrough pain as a discrete pain state. Using the definition that ‘breakthrough pain is a transient increase in the intensity of moderate or severe pain, occurring in the presence of well-established baseline pain’ the authors interviewed 90 cancer pain patients and identified 51 types of breakthrough pain; these varied widely with respect to severity, location, temporal characteristics, relationship to scheduled analgesia, precipitating events, predictability, pathophysiology, aetiology, and palliative factors. As a result of Portenoy and Hagen’s survey, breakthrough pain has been studied as a discrete pain state for almost 30 years, and recognized as an important clinical problem in its own right. An increasing number of published studies exist, with ongoing debate about the breakthrough pain definition, pain assessment, and pain management.

Access to the complete content on Oxford Medicine Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.