Non-clinical factors influencing pain intensity in cancer patients: Socio-cultural–economic status, awareness of disease and the relation with the oncologist

Published: 4 May 2016
Author(s): Oscar Corli, Andrea A. Martoni, Luca Porcu, Anna Roberto, Carmine Pinto, Valter Torri, Irene Guglieri, Vittorina Zagonel, On behalf of the EPIDEMIOLOGY STUDY OF PAIN IN ONCOLOGY (ESOPO) GROUP
Issue: May 2016
Section: Letters to the Editor

The appraisal of pain is entrusted to self-evaluation by patients. In the clinical research the measure of pain intensity (PI) generally refers to a whole population examined and is expressed as a mean value, balancing the up and down evaluations. In the clinical practice the pain estimate is individual and can fluctuate depending on the personality of each patient. In both cases, several clinical factors can influence the judgment of perceived pain. Psychological distress, particularly depression [1], sleep disturbances, [2] some features of pain such as neuropathic and breakthrough pain [3] and the nature of the disease causing pain can all vary the PI experienced.