There is no 'gold standard' to assess the adequacy of pain treatment in cancer patients. The purpose of the study is to explore the Amsterdam Pain Management Index, a newly designed measure to evaluate the adequacy of cancer pain treatment, and to compare it with eight frequently used outcome measures. The Amsterdam Pain Management Index compares patients' Present Pain Intensity, Average Pain Intensity, and Worst Pain Intensity with a composite score of analgesics used, while correcting for what a patient considers as a tolerable level of pain. The eight frequently used outcome measure consisted of three Pain Intensity Markers, the Pain Relief Scale, the Patient Satisfaction Scale, and three Pain Management Indexes. In a randomized controlled trial, 313 cancer patients with a pain duration of at least 1 month were included and followed-up three times until 2 months postdischarge at home. The experimental group received a Pain Education Program, consisting of tailored pain information and instruction. Results showed that, except for the three Pain Management Indexes, the agreement between the measures was very low to moderate. The test of known-groups comparisons and equivalence between groups indicated that the Amsterdam Pain Management Index showed promising results. The Pain Intensity Markers and the Pain Relief Scale were limited in discriminating between groups, while the Patient Satisfaction Scale showed no differences between patient groups. Although it was possible for the Pain Management Indexes to distinguish between patient groups, the differences were not in the expected direction. The ability of the outcome measures to detect changes over time was clearly demonstrated by all outcome measures. Effects of the intervention were only found for the Amsterdam Pain Management Index and patients' Substantial Worst Pain score. Although support was provided for the use of the Amsterdam Pain Management Index, more research is warranted.

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Department of Public Administration

de Wit, R, van Dam, F.S, Loonstra, C.J, Zandbelt, L, van Buuren, M.W, van der Heijden, K, … Huijer Abu-Saad, H. (2001). The Amsterdam Pain Management Index compared to eight frequently used outcome measures to evaluate the adequacy of pain treatment in cancer patients with chronic pain. Pain, 91(3), 339–349. doi:10.1016/S0304-3959(00)00455-3