Relationships between patient-related attitudinal barriers, analgesic adherence and pain relief in Chinese cancer inpatients

  • Xiaoxiao Ma
  • Yuhan LuEmail author
  • Hong Yang
  • Wenhua Yu
  • Xiaoting Hou
  • Renxiu Guo
  • Yun Wang
  • Yaru Zhang
Original Article



The purpose of this study was to evaluate patient-related attitudinal barriers and identify associated factors in Chinese cancer inpatients receiving opioids and to explore relationships between patient-related attitudinal barriers, analgesic adherence and pain relief.


A cross-sectional study was conducted. A total of 146 participants completed face-to-face surveys, including information about demographics, the Barriers Questionnaire-Chinese (BQ-C), analgesic adherence, average pain and breakthrough pain in the past 24 h. The Mann-Whitney U test and Kruskal-Wallis test were performed to test the differences in the attitudinal barrier scores between the adherence and nonadherence groups, the complete and incomplete pain relief groups and the groups based on demographics.


The majority of participants in this study were men (67.8%), over half of all participants were less than 60 years old, gastrointestinal cancer (47.3%) was the most common diagnosis and 59 (40.4%) acquired comprehensive pain education from the last discharge guidance procedure. The total BQ-C mean (SD) score was 1.61 ± 0.94. A total of 87 (59.6%) patients with cancer pain were completely relieved. Most of the patients (73.3%) completely took analgesics by orders. There was no significant difference in the total BQ-C score between the adherence group and the nonadherence group (P > 0.05), but the difference was significant between the complete pain relief group and the incomplete pain relief group (P < 0.05).


The findings of this study support unsatisfactory pain management and moderate analgesic adherence for Chinese inpatients. It is suggested that patient-related attitudinal barriers do not play an undermining role in pain management by negatively affecting patients’ analgesic adherence. Conversely, patients’ beliefs are more likely to be shaped by under treatment rather than as a cause.


Cancer pain patient-related barriers attitudes opioids adherence 


Author contributions

YHL, XXM, HY and WHY designed the study.

XXM, HY, WHY, XTH, RXG, YW and YRZ collected the clinical data.

YHL and XXM contributed to the data analysis and data interpretation.

XXM wrote the manuscript.

YHL approved the last version of the manuscript.

All the authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Funding information

This work was supported by Beijing Hospitals Authority (PX2017052).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xiaoxiao Ma
    • 1
  • Yuhan Lu
    • 1
    Email author
  • Hong Yang
    • 1
  • Wenhua Yu
    • 1
  • Xiaoting Hou
    • 1
  • Renxiu Guo
    • 1
  • Yun Wang
    • 1
  • Yaru Zhang
    • 1
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Carcinogenesis and Translational Research (Ministry of Education/Beijing)Peking University Cancer Hospital & InstituteBeijingChina

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