Patient attitudes regarding pca and associated costs.

Canadian journal of anaesthesia = Journal canadien d'anesthesie

PubMedID: 9067042

Badner NH, Komar WE, Craen RA. Patient attitudes regarding pca and associated costs. Can J Anaesth. 1997;44(3):255-8.
To determine patients' knowledge and attitudes towards patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) costs through the use of our acute pain service quality assurance (QA) programme.

Quality Assurance questionnaires were distributed to all patients receiving PCA opioids for > 12 hr. Patients were asked to note the presence of side effects (nausea/vomiting, pruritus, urinary retention), to indicate their satisfaction with regard to their pain relief, follow-up assessments, treatment of side effects, and to recall the previous method of pain relief and their satisfaction with it. Patients were also asked to estimate the total cost of PCA (0-$50, $50-100, $100-200, > $200), and what amount if any they would be willing to pay (0-$50, $50-100, $100-200, > $200). Results obtained over a recent four month period were reviewed.

One hundred and thirty-three questionnaires were distributed and 103 (77%) were returned. The percentage of patients rating their satisfaction as very good or excellent was 86% for pain relief, 96% for follow-up, 71% for side effect treatment, but only 43% for their previous surgical pain relief (P < 0.001). The distribution of cost estimates was 10% $50-100, 37% $100-200 and 53% > $200 with 60% willing to pay a portion of this cost. Those willing to pay were more likely to have had very good or excellent pain relief (94% vs 71%, P < 0.05) and treatment of side effects (71% vs 48%, P < 0.05) than those not willing to pay.

Patients continue to be highly satisfied with PCA therapy and are aware of the costs involved. A majority of patients were willing to pay to obtain this service if necessary. Patients who had poorer pain relief and less efficacious treatment of their side effects were less willing to pay.