The attitudes of patients and health care personnel to rectal drug administration following day case surgery

Eur J Anaesthesiol. 1998 Jul;15(4):422-6. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2346.1998.00312.x.


The use of suppositories has been examined following a recent case in which an anaesthetist was reported to the United Kingdom General Medical Council. This study examined the preference for routes of administration of post-operative analgesia. A semistructured interview with a written questionnaire was administered to 610 subjects (49 doctors; 62 nurses; 67 paramedical staff; 44 other hospital employees; 388 patients). Four hundred and fifty (74%) preferred the intravenous (i.v.) route, 24 (4%) preferred a suppository while 136 (22%) found either route acceptable. The i.v. route was most popular with young (98% under 20 years) females (79%) social class I subjects (90%), doctors (96%), nurses (95%), those who had never had a suppository (81%) and those who had ill effects following a previous suppository (95%). This result suggests that patients are more tolerant of suppositories than hospital staff but the majority prefer the i.v. route.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Rectal
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Allied Health Personnel
  • Ambulatory Surgical Procedures*
  • Analgesics / administration & dosage*
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Injections, Intravenous
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nurses
  • Pain, Postoperative / drug therapy*
  • Personnel, Hospital
  • Physicians
  • Sex Factors
  • Social Class
  • Suppositories
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Analgesics
  • Suppositories