A Korean nationwide survey for breakthrough cancer pain in an inpatient setting

Sun Kyung Baek, Do Yeun Kim, Seok Yun Kang, Sun Jin Sym, Young Sung Kim, June Young Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose We evaluated the prevalence and characteristics of breakthrough cancer pain (BTcP) in Korean patients admitted with cancer pain. Materials and Methods In-hospital patients with cancer pain completed a questionnaire concerning severity of background cancer pain (BCP), prevalence and treatment for BTcP, sleep disorders, and satisfaction with cancer pain treatment. Medical records showing medications for BCP and BTcP were also evaluated. Results Total 609 patients with controlled BCP enrolled. Mean age of the patients was 59.5 years old, and 59% were male. Of all patients, 177 (29%) complained of BTcP. No clinical characteristic predicted BTcP. Of the 177 patients with BTcP, 56% did not receive treatment for BTcP. Patients with BTcP showed significant association with a sleep disorder and dissatisfaction with pain control, compared to those without BTcP (p < 0.0001 and p=0.0498, respectively). Oxycodone-immediate release was the most commonly used short-acting analgesic, followed by intravenous morphine. Conclusion The prevalence of BTcP was 29% in patients admitted with controlled BCP. Although the patients had well-controlled BCP, BTcP showed association with a lower quality of life in patients with cancer. More medical attention is needed for detection and management of BTcP.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)768-774
Number of pages7
JournalCancer Research and Treatment
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Apr 1
Externally publishedYes


  • Breakthrough cancer pain
  • Characteristics
  • Prevalence
  • Quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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