Objectives: To see how often families in Oregon reported moderate to severe pain in dying patients in late 1998 compared with late 1997. Design: A systematic random sample of death certificates was used to identify family members of decedents who died in a hospital setting between October 1 and December 31, 1998. A structured telephone interview was used to obtain data. Participants: Family members of 103 decedents (who died in hospitals 2 to 4 months before data collection) were identified with the use of death certificates. Results: In late 1998, 56 family members (54%) reported that their loved one experienced moderate to severe pain in the last week of life. Conclusions: Family reports of moderate to severe pain in dying hospitalized Oregonians remain high. The influence of environmental factors on pain management may have implications for practice and policy nationwide.
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