Pain control in palliative care : a South African nursing perspective
In South Africa the need for palliative care for the terminally ill is exacerbated by the upsurge of the HIV/AIDS epidemic resulting in more patients being in need of palliative care and the provision of effective pain management as part of providing them with palliative care. Effective pain management requires sound knowledge of the pathophysiology of pain and its treatment. Research found the attitudes, beliefs, and knowledge of healthcare professionals regarding pain management impact significantly on how these professionals practice pain control measures of the terminally ill. Despite the increase in knowledge and technological advances people still die in pain. The upsurge of cancer and AIDS cases require that all nursing practitioners be competent to deliver palliative care. Effective pain management is an integral part of palliative care. South Africa has a nurse-driven health care system where Registered Nurses are expected to become competent in among other health care issues, to manage pain in the increasing numbers of terminally ill patients due to especially AIDS epidemic.