Perspectives of the surgeons, anaesthetists, and pharmacists on post-operative pain management roles in the Ghanaian context
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Post-operative pain is best managed by a multi-disciplinary team approach. An extensive review of the literature indicated that little is known about the roles of surgeons, anaesthetists, and pharmacists regarding post-operative pain management in Ghana. Therefore, this study was undertaken in order to fully understand how health professionals perceive their roles and the challenges that influence their decisions about post-operative pain management. A qualitative approach with a focused ethnographic design was employed involving eleven in-depth individual interviews. Purposive sampling approach was employed. The study was conducted at a tertiary hospital in Accra, Ghana. The study revealed that surgeons and anaesthetists practised pre-emptive analgesia by administering intra-operative analgesia, giving nerve blocks, and infiltrating surgical wounds. Sometimes, epidural analgesia and perfusers were used for patients who could afford them, particularly if they were expected to experience severe post-operative pain. Challenges reported by all the participants related to inadequate personnel, opioid effect and availability, inadequate training and collaboration, and effects of organisational culture were identified. It was concluded that effective collaboration among health professionals could enhance post-operative pain management. There is a need for enhanced commitment, in order to provide more effective post-operative pain management.