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Papers of the Week

2022 Dec 24

Syst Rev



Postoperative pain and pain management and neurocognitive outcomes after non-cardiac surgery: a protocol for a series of systematic reviews.


Postoperative delirium (POD) is common after non-cardiac surgery in older adults and can result in increased risk of adverse outcomes including postoperative cognitive dysfunction (POCD). Pain after surgery is also frequent and can persist as chronic postsurgical pain (CPSP). Evidence is inconsistent and controversial on whether acute and chronic postsurgical pain, and different postoperative pain management strategies (including opioid versus opioid-sparing strategies), is associated with the occurrence of POD and POCD. In this protocol, we propose a series of systematic reviews to answer the following research questions: In adults undergoing non-cardiac surgery, (1) is acute postsurgical pain associated with POD and/or POCD? (2) Are opioid-sparing/avoidance strategies of acute postoperative pain management associated with lower incidence and/or severity of POD and POCD, compared to predominantly opioid-based strategies? (3) Is CPSP associated with POCD? (4) Are opioid-sparing management strategies of CPSP associated with lower incidence and/or severity of POCD compared to standard of care or strategies not aiming at reduced opioid use?