The Particulars: Previous research found that postoperative pain management did not appear to improve from 1995 to 2002. Since that time, there has been greater attention on pain management in the hospital setting. These efforts have likely led to more encouraging outcomes, but data to confirm this assumption are lacking.

Data Breakdown: For a study, researchers compared the postoperative pain scores of more than 400 surgical inpatients with scores of patients who were involved in a study about 10 years ago. The proportion of patients reporting no pain and being satisfied with their pain medication was similar for both groups. However, the rate of moderate-to-extreme pain was 63% in the earlier study, compared with a 39% rate observed in the current study.

Take Home Pearl: The incidence of moderate-to-extreme postoperative pain appears to have decreased significantly in the last decade.