Predictors of pain control in patients undergoing flexible bronchoscopy

N. Lechtzin, H. R. Rubin, M. Jenckes, Jr White P., L. M. Zhou, D. A. Thompson, G. B. Diette

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of this study was to assess the extent to which patients undergoing flexible bronchoscopy (FOB) experience pain and to identify patient factors and process of care factors that are associated with pain. We conducted a prospective cohort study on 481 patients undergoing FOB. Overall control of pain during FOB was the primary outcome. The mean age of the patients was 48 yr, 50% were male, and 32% required supplemental oxygen prior to FOB. Pain control was excellent in 36% of patients, but 10% considered it to be fair or poor. Patient factors associated with excellent pain control were excellent health (versus poor health, OR = 6.25 [95% Cl, 2.28-16.67]), more education (college education versus high school education, OR = 1.72 [95% Cl, 1.05-2.86]), and not having asthma (OR = 2.86 [95% Cl, 1.09-7.14]). Process of care factors associated with excellent pain control were not being bothered by scope insertion (versus bothered, OR = 3.65 [95% Cl, 1.99-6.98]), no memory of FOB (versus some memory, OR = 2.33 [95% Cl, 1.24-4.44]), and higher ratings of information about the procedure (per 1-point increase on a 12-point scale, OR = 1.57 [95% Cl, 1.41-1.78]). This is the first large-scale, prospective study to evaluate patient and process of care factors that influence pain control during FOB. It demonstrated that there are patient characteristics and process of care factors that need to be considered when evaluating pain during bronchoscopy. Improved preparation of patients with lower education, inferior health status, and asthma may lead to decreased pain during FOB. Bronchoscopists may be able to reduce pain during FOB by identifying methods to decrease pain on scope insertion, by improving the information provided to patients, and by achieving greater levels of amnesia during FOB.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)440-445
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican journal of respiratory and critical care medicine
Issue number2 I
StatePublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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