R. Laing, M. Lam, H. Owen, J. L. Plummer

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    10 Citations (Scopus)


    This survey aimed to determine what type of information patients want about the risks of postoperative pain management and whether this corresponded to the information that doctors and nurses wished to provide. Seventy‐four patients scheduled for elective surgery, 50 nurses and 48 doctors completed a questionnaire asking about perceived risks of analgesia, level of acceptable risk and information that should be provided to patients. Compared to doctors and nurses, patients underestimated the risks associated with postoperative pain relief, except for the risk of drug addiction, which they rated higher. Ninety‐one per cent of patients wanted information about the side effects of analgesia. The preferred means of obtaining this information was by discussion with their surgeon or anaesthetist. Doctors were willing to accept a greater risk of minor side effects to achieve excellent pain relief than were patients. In contrast, patients were willing to accept a greater risk of serious side effects. The results obtained in this survey will facilitate the preparation of guidelines for obtaining informed consent from patients to receive postoperative analgesia.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)760-765
    Number of pages6
    JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Surgery
    Issue number10
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 1993


    • consent
    • doctors
    • education
    • nurses
    • pain therapy
    • patients
    • postoperative complications
    • postoperative pain.


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