Frequently asked questions by hospitalists managing pain in adults with sickle cell disease

Wally R. Smith, Lanetta B. Jordan, Kathryn L. Hassell

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Pain is the predominant medical presentation to hospitalists for patients with sickle cell disease (SCD). Dramatic treatment gains of SCD in childhood have resulted in more adults now requiring hospitalization than children. This has created new challenges to improve the quality of hospital care for SCD. The evidence base for pain management in SCD is lacking. We therefore offer some evidence and our informed opinion to answer frequently asked questions (FAQs) about pain management by hospitalists caring for adults with SCD. The most common questions center around defining a crisis; selecting and managing opioids; distinguishing between opioid tolerance, physical dependence, and addiction or misuse; determining appropriateness of discharge; and avoiding lengthy or recurrent hospitalizations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)297-303
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Hospital Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Hematology
  • Multidisciplinary care
  • Pain
  • Quality improvement
  • Sickle cell disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Assessment and Diagnosis
  • Care Planning
  • Fundamentals and skills
  • Leadership and Management


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