Bao, Y.J., Hua, B.J., Hou, W., Lin, H.S., Zhang, X.B., & Yang, G.X. (2010). Alleviation of cancerous pain by external compress with Xiaozheng Zhitong Paste. Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine, 16, 309–314.doi: 10.1007/s11655-010-0501-5
To observe the clinical effectiveness of a topical application of Xiaozheng Zhitong Paste (XZP) in alleviating the cancerous pain of patients with middle/late-stage cancer
Patients were randomized into either the treatment group (64 patients) or the control group (60 patients). In addition to utilization of three-ladder (3L) analgesia therapy in both groups, topical application of XZP was given to patients in the treatment group for pain alleviation. Analgesic efficacy was recorded in terms of pain intensity, analgesia initiating time and sustaining time, and the optimal analgesic effect revealing time. Quality of life and adverse reactions that occurred in patients were also recorded.
The extent of pain, the analgesic effect initiating time and sustaining time of medication, and the optimal effect revealing time were recorded before medication and 24 hours after medication. Quality of life was estimated by Karnofsky scoring and the Brief Pain Inventory (BPI).
Intensity of pain was evaluated per standards of the World Health Organization with the numeric rating scale (NRS), expressed as digits from 0–10 (0 for no pain, 10 for extreme pain). Intensity of pain was ranked into four grades: 0 = no pain; grade I = endurable pain, normal daily life, sleep not affected, NRS 1–3; grade II = obvious pain, unendurable, patients asked for analgesia, daily life and sleep affected, NRS 4–6; grade III = severe pain, could hardly endure, analgesia necessary, sleep interfered with, impact on motion, forced posture, painful complexion, and incessant groaning, NRS 7– 10.
Effectiveness on pain treatment was classified into four grades: completely remitted (CR), partially remitted (PR), mildly remitted (MR), and no palliation (NP). Comparison of the total effective rate (sum of CR+PR+MR) between the two groups showed no significant difference (p > 0.05). Analgesic effect initiating time was decreased, and its sustaining time was elongated in both groups after medication (p < 0.01), but the initiating time was shorter in the treatment group than in the control group (p < 0.01). The mean optimal analgesia effect was shorter in the treatment group, demonstrating a significant difference (p < 0.01).
Compared by the effect of pain on patients, the effect was attenuated by both groups after medication, but the mental condition, walking capacity, social acceptability, sleep, and joy of living were all better with those in the control group, showing statistical significance (p < 0.01).
The combination of 3L analgesia and XZP compress demonstrates the similar effects in pain alleviation as compared with 3L analgesia alone.
XZP paste was prepared at the pharmaceutical department of the author’s hospital.
Chinese medicine may prove to be beneficial for patients with cancer-associated pain management issues, as well as in end-of-life and palliative care; however, these findings do not provide support for the intervention tested here. Nursing participation in these evaluations is essential.