Is the WHO Analgesic Ladder Still Valid for Pain Therapy?


At the beginning of the ‘80s Mark Swerdlow, Consultant of WHO for Pain and Palliative Care, established an Advisory Board whose aim was to produce and publish a simple guideline for the treatment of Cancer Pain. The group was composed, between others, by (Figure 1, R-L) John J. Bonica, Mark Swerdlow, Robert Twycross, Kathleen Foley, Vittorio Ventafridda and Jan Stjernsward. They met for the first time in 1982 in Villa d’Este on Lake Como (Italy).

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