Physicians knowledge and attitude of opioid availability, accessibility and use in pain management in Bangladesh

This survey was conducted on 1000 physicians with pain management responsibilities practicing in 47 districts in Bangladesh. The response rate was 58.3%. The physicians had a mean of 21 years in practice. It was notable that 66% of the physicians had seen cancer patients in the last 12 months and 63% had seen patients with advanced stage cancer where opioids are considered as the mainstay of treatment. It was discouraging that 85% of the physicians preferred to prescribe pethidine, when patients needed opioids for severe pain. 53% of the physicians were not aware of the ‘Bangladesh Narcotics law, 1990’. 89% of the physicians would restrict opioid dosage in pain management to prevent drug tolerance or addiction. Oncology physicians displayed significantly higher knowledge scores. The results demonstrated physicians’ poor knowledge, attitude and perceived barriers regarding opioids. Effective education strategies need to be addressed using the study result.


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