Patient perception of pain care in the United States: A 5-year comparative analysis of hospital consumer assessment of health care providers and systems

Anita Gupta, Lisa K. Lee, Jeffrey J. Mojica, Ali Nairizi, Shelley J. George

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

Discussion: The HCAHPS survey is a national public standardized report used as a way to compare care in the United States. Patient pain perception has improved between the 2008 and 2012 reports. Further studies are needed to evaluate critical care hospitals.

Study Design: Statistical analyses were conducted with the HCAHPS report to compare pain control in regards to hospital type, hospital ownership, and individual hospitals. Using the question, “How often is your pain controlled?,” T-tests were used to compare each hospital type. Hospital ownerships were assessed via analysis of variance (ANOVA) testing. T-tests were conducted to track the difference of hospital performance between the 2008 and the 2012 report. Paired management data were obtained from hospitals that participated in both reports and were assessed using paired T-tests.

Background: The necessity of aggressive pain management in the hospital setting is becoming increasingly evident. It has been shown to improve patient outcomes, and is now an avenue for Medicare to assess reimbursement. In this cohort analysis, we compared the March 2008 to the December 2012 Hospital Consumer Assessment of Health Plans Survey (HCAHPS) reports in order to determine if pain management has improved in the United States after this national standardized survey was created.

Objective: To evaluate whether pain perception would improve in the 2012 report relative to the 2008 report.

Setting: This survey was administered to a random sample of adult inpatients between 48 hours and 6 weeks after discharge from any hospital reporting to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) across the US.

Limitations: Limitations of this study include response bias, recall bias, and there may be bias related to types of people likely to respond to a survey, but this is inherent to data that is collected on a voluntary response. Additionally, a 3% increase in the number of patients rating their pain as always well-controlled, while statistically significant, admittedly may not be clinically significant. In addition, the raw data collected is adjusted for the effects of patient-mix. The statistical analyses performed to derive the final quarterly HCAHPS reports are unavailable to us and therefore we cannot comment on how individual factors such as age, sex, race, and education or the interaction of the aforementioned affect responses about the patient’s perception on how well their pain was controlled between 2008 and 2012.

Results: Two thousand three hundred and ninety five hospitals reported pain management data in both 2008 and 2012. In 2012, hospitals improved their ability to “always control a patients pain” by 3.07% (P < 0.0001) in comparison to the baseline March 2008 report, which was statistically significant. According to the 2012 data, the discrepancy in pain management between acute care hospitals and critical access hospitals was 3.33% which was statistically significant (P < 0.05). Government hospitals were shown to manage pain better at baseline, but all 3 types of ownership improved their pain scores between the 2 reports which was shown to be statistically significant (P < 0.01).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)369-377
Number of pages9
JournalPain Physician
Volume17
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2014
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Acute care hospitals
  • Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)
  • Critical access hospitals
  • HCAHPS
  • National comparison of hospitals
  • Pain management:
  • Pain scores
  • Patient perception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

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