Pilot study of a survey to identify the prevalence of and risk factors for chronic neuropathic pain following breast cancer surgery

Oncology Nursing Forum, 03/15/2012

Additional research is required to confirm the significance of these potential risk factors in the development of pain post breast surgery (PPBS).


  • Prospective, quantitative, longitudinal survey.
  • Breast health clinic in western Canada.
  • A convenience sample of 17 women undergoing breast cancer surgery.
  • The Brief Pain Inventory was administered before surgery and 2 days, 10 days, and 3 months postsurgery.
  • Demographic data also were collected preoperatively.
  • Analysis included determining prevalence of PPBS;
    • Descriptive analyses on age, gender, and body mass index (BMI);
    • Presence of acute postoperative pain; type of surgery; and two–tailed t tests on age and BMI.
  • The symptom experience of chronic PPBS.


  • Twenty–three percent of the sample developed PPBS.
  • Younger age (50 years or younger), more invasive surgery, acute postoperative pain, and less analgesic use during the acute postoperative period were factors associated with the development of PPBS.

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