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Written by

Professor Winfried Meissner Professor Winfried Meissner is from PAIN OUT, Acute Pain Registry initiative, department of anesthesiology and intensive care, and head of the pain clinic and department of palliative care, Universitätsklinikum Jena, Germany

Ms Claudia Weinmann Ms Claudia Weinmann is from PAIN OUT, Acute Pain Registry initiative, department of anesthesiology and intensive care, University Hospital Jena, Jena, Germany

Dr Ruth Zaslansky Dr Ruth Zaslansky is from PAIN OUT, Acute Pain Registry initiative, department of anesthesiology and intensive care, University Hospital Jena, Jena, Germany

The need for pain registries

Published 20 December 2016

Pain registries play a vital role in improving patient care, write Professor Winfried Meissner, Ms Claudia Weinmann and Dr Ruth Zaslansky

Key learning points

  • Registries can help improve patient care by demonstrating what is actually happening in practice.
  • Optimised pain therapy is vital, hence the need for pain registries.
  • Registries do not compete with randomised controlled trials but complement them.

“Science tells us what we can do; guidelines what we should do; registries what we are actually doing.”1

At least half of patients who have undergone surgery suffer from post-operative pain which is often moderate-to-severe.2 Therefore the importance and necessity of optimised pain therapy is obvious. Optimised treatment should include evidence-based therapy adapted to the individual needs of the patients.

In trying to improve both the efficacy and tolerability of pain treatment, registries can help improve patient treatment. A registry is a system that collects clinical and other data to evaluate specified outcomes for a defined population.3 Registries do not compete with randomised controlled trials (RCT) but complement them. RCTs generate information from a rather selective patient group and in very specific settings; they do not show real life.3 Consequently, transferring their results into clinical practice is often difficult, if not sometimes impossible.

Registries use a different, more comprehensive approach. They include a representative sample of all patients and therefore show what actually happens with patient care. Pain registries offer analyses of different sub-groups, assessment of side-effects from certain therapies, and often include patient groups that are never addressed by RCTs. PAIN OUT is an example of an acute pain registry which allows ongoing monitoring and feedback.4 It is an important tool for quality assurance and for assessing the efficacy of new pain therapies. Registries often need continuous funding. If they are to have an impact on quality of care in everyday practice, they must be user-friendly and there should be a comprehensive quality management process in place for both institutions and healthcare professionals.


  • Professor Winfried Meissner, Ms Claudia Weinmann and Dr Ruth Zaslansky are from PAIN OUT, Acute Pain Registry initiative, department of anesthesiology and intensive care, University Hospital Jena, Jena, Germany

References

  1. Proceedings document from the policy conference on pacemaker and ICD performance presented by the Heart Rhythm Society and the Food and Drug Administration, September 16, 2005.
  2. Zaslansky R, Rothaug J, et al. European Journal of Pain 2015;19(4):490–502.
  3. Gliklich RE, Dreyer NA, eds. Registries for Evaluating Patient Outcomes: A User’s Guide. 2nd ed. AHRQ Publication No.10-EHC049. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. September 2010.
  4. PAIN OUT. Available at: http://pain-out.med.uni-jena.de/. (Last accessed 30 November 2016).



Date of preparation: December 2016; MINT/PAEU-16041