Background: Little is known about patterns and predictive factors regarding opioid use for terminally ill patients with gynecologic malignancies. The aim of this study was to elucidate predictors affecting opioid requirements of end-of-life patients with gynecologic malignancies. Methods: A retrospective study was carried out on patients with gynecological malignancies admitted to our institute and died during the years 2002 to 2012. The association between maximum opioid dose and factors affecting opioid requirements were examined. Data extracted from medical records included age, site of primary cancer, maximum total dose of opioids prescribed over 24 h, the site of recurrence and metastasis, procedures performed during the hospital stay, total number of chemotherapy courses and overall survival. Results: The study identified 189 patients. Most patients had ovarian cancer (42.3 %) followed by cervical cancer (28.0 %) and then corpus malignancy (27.0 %). Opioid requirements decreased with increasing age, especially from the 50s onward. This was particularly marked in cervical cancer patients. In addition, pelvic metastasis was associated with the maximum dose of opioids and the average opioid use was highest in patients with cervical cancer. Conclusion: Young age and pelvic invasion were significant predictive factors regarding opioid requirements. Additionally, cervical cancer patients may require more opioids among those with gynecologic malignancies.
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