Patients' beliefs about morphine and its effectiveness for pain control
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Type of Work85 pages
The purpose of the study was to examine the beliefs of patients regarding the use of morphine to control cancer pain. In addition, the study explored fears that concerned subjects about morphine use. A twenty-item questionnaire originally developed by Ward (1993) was adapted for use with patients taking oral morphine. The questionnaire was given to patients currently receiving radiation or chemotherapy treatments at local cancer centers and hospices in a mid-Atlantic region. Responses from a total of sixty-four subjects were obtained including thirty subjects who used morphine, and thirty-four who did not use it. Questionnaires were distributed by staff at the various cancer centers. In order to be included in the study, subjects had to have a diagnosis of cancer. The study posed three research questions. The first question addressed whether morphine users and non-users had different general beliefs regarding morphine. Additional questions asked whether differences existed between morphine users and non-users on the addictive properties of morphine and whether there were any perceived differences in side effects of morphine between the two groups. Lastly, a preliminary validity assessment was done using an exploratory factor analysis to identify if factors in the current questionnaire reflected those found by Ward (1993). Using Mann-Whitney analysis, the study found significant differences between the two groups on eight items of the questionnaire. These items pertained to the ability of MS to control pain (three items), the addictive nature of morphine, the fatalism of its use, the possibility of morphine causing one to say embarrassing things, the side effect of nausea, and the avoidance of health care workers to talk about pain. Using Chi-square analysis, no significant differences were found for the two groups regarding morphine and its addictive properties or with perceived differences in side effects of the drug. Lastly, the exploratory factor analysis did not find that items from the current study grouped together into the subscales found in Ward's (1993) original study. Replication of the study was recommended in order to increase the validity of factor structure of the tool. Secondly, future research is needed on morphine use with a larger number of subjects.