Relationship Between Using Clinical Practice Guidelines for Pain Treatment and Physicians' Training and Attitudes Toward Patients and the Effects on Patient Care

Pain Pract. 2018 Jan;18(1):38-47. doi: 10.1111/papr.12579. Epub 2017 May 5.


Aims: To determine the use of clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) for chronic pain (CP) management; analyze the effects of training in pain and the attitudes of physicians toward pain and CP patients on the adherence to these CPGs; and assess the impact of adherence to CPGs on patient care.

Method: This was a cross-sectional study in a sample of physicians involved in CP patient management. Information on the use of CPGs for CP management, their training in pain, and their attitudes toward pain, patients, and patient care was collected. Descriptive and bivariate analyses were performed, and a multinomial logistic regression model was constructed to analyze factors associated with the use of CPGs.

Results: Of the 257 physicians surveyed, 46.6% were physiatrists, 26.7% were general practitioners, and 26.7% were medical oncologists. Although 96.5% claimed to have received training in pain, only 10.1% had received college training, and 76.3% expressed having gaps in their knowledge; 53.9% stated they applied CPGs often/always, and 12.5% rarely/never. Limited knowledge on pain, reduced involvement in training activities, more negative attitudes toward patients, and having experienced CP were the factors related to reduced adherence to CPGs, especially among the youngest respondents. The greater the use of CPGs, the better the patient care was.

Conclusions: Access to scientific information and specialized training are factors related to the use of CPGs for pain treatment. Therefore, the inclusion of CP training in university and during medical specialty training will be essential measures to improve adherence to CPG, thereby improving patient care and pain control.

Keywords: adherence; chronic pain; clinical practice guidelines; physicians' attitudes; physicians' training.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Chronic Pain / therapy*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • General Practitioners* / education
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oncologists* / education
  • Pain
  • Pain Management*
  • Patient Care
  • Physiatrists* / education
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic*
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / statistics & numerical data*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires