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6 themes described patients’ information needs related to patient controlled analgesia

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QUESTION: What information do patients want about patient controlled analgesia (PCA)?


Focus groups. Findings were used to revise a patient information leaflet, which was subsequently evaluated in a randomised controlled trial (RCT). Only the findings of the focus groups are reported here.


{St. George’s Hospital NHS Trust, London, UK.}*


24 patients (19–72 y, 54% women) were recruited from 8 surgical wards. All had used PCA during the previous week after major gynaecological, orthopaedic, abdominal, or renal surgery. Exclusion criteria were inability to ambulate, inability to speak or understand English, and unwellness.


7 focus groups were held. Patients were asked, “If you were going to use PCA for the first time, what would you want to know?” They were then asked to recommend changes to the content of a previously used information leaflet. Sessions were transcribed, and a thematic analysis was done. Topics were identified as themes when viewed as important by >1 focus group. The …

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  • * Information provided by author

  • Source of funding: London Regional NHS Executive, Research and Development Directorate.

  • For correspondence: Dr G M Chumbley, Pain Management Centre, Charing Cross Hospital, London, UK. gillian.chumbley{at}