The Barriers to High-Quality Inpatient Pain Management: A Qualitative Study
The current literature suggests deficiencies in the quality of acute pain management among general medical inpatients. The aim of this qualitative study is to identify potential barriers to high-quality acute pain management among general medical inpatients at an urban academic medical center during a 2-year period. Data are collected using retrospective chart reviews, survey questionnaires, and semistructured, open-ended interviews of 40 general medical inpatients who have experienced pain during their hospitalization. Our results confirm high prevalence and disabling impacts of pain and significant patient- and provider-related barriers to high-quality acute pain management. We also identify unique system-related barriers such as time delay and pain management culture. Efforts to improve the pain management experience of general medical inpatients will need to address all these barriers.