Incidence of cancer pain in the rural areas
This project was again funded by the World Health Organization. The proforma for the survey provided by the WHO was translated into Hindi and a medico-social worker was assigned this job. The survey was carried out in two phases. The 1st phase was carried out in Ujjain district (60 km. from Indore) and 100 cases in rural Ujjain and Ujjain proper were selected. The 2nd phase was carried out in Indore.
The findings of the survey were:
- The maximum incidence of cancer pain was seen in the age group above 50 years. The ratio of female to male incidence was marginally higher.
- 66% of the patients were married
- 64% were illiterate
- 38% were daily wage earners
- 50% had to forego their jobs due to cancer
- 62% were aware that they had cancer
- 92% were suffering from pain at the time of the survey
- In 74% of cases, the pain led to the diagnosis of cancer
- 30% of the village population had marital disharmony.
- In 20% of the cases the pain had affected the mood of the patient
- In 35% of the cases the pain had had an impact on sleep
- In 10% of the cases pain had affected interpersonal relations.
Several demographic factors have emerged out of the assessment of the result the survey. The study showed that incidence of cancer pain in a village-based community is a serious health problem with a direct impact on the social and family structure. The data showed the need for outreach counseling and the availability of pain relief measures.
In 1996, the findings of this survey were presented on a poster at the World Congress of Psychiatry in Madrid, Spain.