The reluctance of patients with cancer to report pain and to use analgesics hinders the management of their pain. In the United States, this reluctance is related to the patient's misconceptions regarding addiction and tolerance to analgesics and the desire to be a 'good patient' who does not complain. Reports in the literature suggest that patients in Taiwan may have these same concerns and misconceptions. This study was designed to explore (a) the concerns of patients in Taiwan about reporting pain and using analgesics and (b) the relationship between these concerns and the adequacy of analgesics used by the patients. Sixty-three patients with cancer completed the Barriers Questionnaire-Taiwan (BTQ) form, a self-report instrument that measures the extent to which patients have eight specific concerns about reporting pain and using analgesics. The responses indicated that patients who were less educated were more likely to have concerns and that patients in general were most worried about tolerance. Patients who were inadequately medicated, as determined by an index of 'adequate pain management' constructed for the study, had significantly higher levels of concerns. Open communication between health professionals and patients and educational programs about pain and about the concerns measured in this study could help overcome these concerns and misconceptions and improve pain management.
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