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European survey of patient satisfaction in the treatment of cancer-related neuropathic pain

Presented by
‪Prof. Martin Rakusa, ‬University Medical Centre Maribor, Slovenia
EAN 2022

A European survey has gathered insights into the diagnosis and management of cancer-related neuropathic pain (CRNP) and its impact on patients. Major differences were found between European countries. High patient satisfaction was associated with healthcare professionals taking more time for their patients.

Neuropathic pain is a common long-term consequence of cancer and its treatments. It can be directly disease-related or be due to the chosen treatment strategy. Continuing advances in chemotherapy, surgery, and radiotherapy significantly prolong survival, but can also prolong sequelae such as neuropathic pain.

In order to gain better understanding of the needs of patients with CRNP and to give them a voice, an online survey was prepared, conducted, and analysed with a team of experts including physicians, nurses, and patients [1]. Adult cancer patients from 13 European countries were screened for symptoms of CRNP. If they met ≥3 criteria of the Douleur Neuropathique 4 (DN4) screening questionnaire for neuropathic pain, they could be enrolled to share their experiences with diagnosis and management of CRNP.

Included were 549 patients with CRNP who participated in the survey (24–103 respondents per country). One third (32%: between 21–49% per country) experienced severe pain on a daily basis. By definition, participants had symptoms of neuropathic pain, but only 60% received a formal diagnosis of CRNP, varying between 40% in France and 87% in Switzerland. Overall, 60% of participants had been warned beforehand that they might develop CRNP, in 45% of cases by their oncologist.

The survey's results confirm once again that CRNP is undertreated. Pharmacological treatment instigated by a healthcare professional varied between 32% in Norway and 79% in Switzerland. The highest percentage of patients satisfied with their CRNP treatment was found in Switzerland: 91%.

  1. Rakusa M, et al. Cancer-related neuropathic pain in Europe: differences in diagnosis and treatment in 13 countries-patient´s perspective. OPR-074, EAN 2022, 25–28 April, Vienna, Austria.

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