An individualized intervention to overcome patient-related barriers to pain management in women with gynecologic cancers

Res Nurs Health. 2000 Oct;23(5):393-405. doi: 10.1002/1098-240x(200010)23:5<393::aid-nur6>;2-o.


Concerns about reporting pain and using analgesics ultimately can contribute to poor pain management for many individuals. A nursing intervention to address these "patient-related barriers" was developed based on Johnson's self-regulation theory. The purpose of this pilot study was to determine whether provision of individually tailored sensory and coping information about analgesic side effects and specific information to counter misconceptions would enhance pain management in a sample of 43 women with gynecologic cancers. It was hypothesized that at 1-month post-test and 2-month follow-up, those subjects randomized to the information condition would (a) have lower barriers scores; (b) use more adequate analgesic medication; (c) have lower analgesic side effect scores; (d) have lower pain intensity scores; and (e) experience less pain interference with life and better overall quality of life compared to those in the care-as-usual control group. There was no main effect for group on any of the dependent variables. Rather, all women reported a decrease in barriers between baseline and 2-month follow-up (p<.05); all subjects experienced a decrease in pain interference with life scores between baseline and 1-month post-test (p<.05); and there was a significant shift of women from unacceptable pain management at baseline to acceptable pain management at 1-month post-test (p<.05). In addition, the majority of women reported that the intervention contained novel and useful information that helped them to feel more comfortable taking pain medication, to be less concerned about addiction, and helped them talk more openly about pain with a doctor or nurse.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Analgesics / therapeutic use
  • Communication Barriers*
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Genital Neoplasms, Female / drug therapy
  • Genital Neoplasms, Female / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain / drug therapy
  • Pain / psychology*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Pilot Projects
  • Quality of Life / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Analgesics