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Emily J. Martin, Eric J. Roeland, Madison B. Sharp, Carolyn Revta, James D. Murphy, Katherine E. Fero and Heidi N. Yeung

Background: Patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) is an effective approach to treat pain. However, data regarding patterns of PCA use for cancer pain are limited. The purpose of this study was to define the patterns of PCA use and related outcomes in hospitalized patients with cancer. Methods: We identified 90 patients with cancer admitted to a single academic center who received PCA for nonsurgical, cancer-related pain and survived to discharge between January 2013 and January 2014. Data collected included patient demographics, cancer diagnosis, type of cancer-related pain, PCA use, opioid-specific adverse events, and 30-day readmission rates for pain. Univariable and multivariable linear regression models were used to analyze the association between patient and clinical variables with PCA duration. Logistic regression models were used to evaluate the relationship between patient and clinical variables and 30-day readmission rates. Results: The median length of hospitalization was 10.2 days with a median PCA duration of 4.4 days. Hematologic malignancies were associated with longer PCA use (P=.0001), as was younger age (P=.032). A trend was seen toward decreased 30-day readmission rates with longer PCA use (P=.054). No correlation was found between 30-day readmission and any covariate studied, including age, sex, cancer type (solid vs hematologic), pain type, palliative care consult, or time from PCA discontinuation to discharge. Conclusions: This study suggests that there is longer PCA use in younger patients and those with hematologic malignancies admitted with cancer-related pain, with a trend toward decreased 30-day readmission rates in those with longer PCA use.