Postoperative pain surveys in Italy from 2006 and 2012: (POPSI and POPSI-2)

F. Coluzzi, C. Mattia, G. Savoia, P. Clemenzi, R. Melotti, R. B. Raffa, J. V. Pergolizzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: Despite established standards, effective treatments, and evidencebased guidelines, postoperative pain control in Italy and other parts of the world remains suboptimal. Pain control has been recognized as a fundamental human right. Effective treatments exist to control postsurgical pain. Inadequate postoperat ive analgesia may prolong the length of hospital stays and may adversely impact outcomes. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The same multiple- choice survey administered at the SIAARTI National Congress in Perugia in 2006 (n=588) was given at the SIAARTI National Congress in Naples, Italy in 2012 (n=635). The 2012 survey was analysed and compared to the 2006 results. RESULTS: Postoperative pain control in Italy was less than optimal in 2006 and showed no substantial improvements in 2012. Geographical distinctions were evident with certain parts of Italy offering better postoperative pain control than other. Fewer than half of hospitals represented had an active Acute Pain Service (APS) and only about 10% of postsurgical patients were managed according to evidence-based guidelines. For example, elastomeric pumps for continuous IV infusion are commonly used in Italy, although patient-controlled analgesia systems are recommended in the guidelines. The biggest obstacles to optimal postoperative pain control reported by respondents could be categorized as organizational, cultural, and economic. CONCLUSIONS: There is considerable room for improvement in postoperative pain control in Italy, specifically in the areas of clinical education, evidence-based treatments, better equipment, and implementation of active APS departments in more hospitals. Two surveys taken six years apart in Italy reveal, with striking similarity, that there are many unmet needs in postoper ative pain control and that Italy still falls below European standards for postoperative pain control.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4261-4269
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences
Issue number22
StatePublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Acute pain service
  • Opioids
  • Patient controlled analgesia
  • Postoperative pain
  • Recommendations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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