Putting cancer pain management regimens into practice at home

J Pain Symptom Manage. 2002 May;23(5):369-82. doi: 10.1016/s0885-3924(02)00385-8.


The purpose of this study was to describe the difficulties with pain management that patients and family caregivers bring to a nurse's attention during a teaching and coaching intervention. Data were obtained from audiotaped and transcribed interactions between intervention nurses and patients (n = 52) and their family caregivers (n = 33) who were participating in a randomized clinical trial of a nursing intervention called the PRO-SELF Copyright Pain Control Program. Using qualitative content analysis, we found that patients had difficulty in seven areas when they attempted to put a pain management regimen into practice, namely: obtaining the prescribed medication(s), accessing information, tailoring prescribed regimens to meet individual needs, managing side effects, cognitively processing information, managing new or unusual pain, and managing multiple symptoms simultaneously. The findings from this study suggest that the provision of information about cancer pain management to patients and their family caregivers is not sufficient to improve pain control in the home care setting. Patients and their family caregivers require ongoing assistance with problem-solving to optimize their pain management regimen.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Female
  • Home Care Services*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / complications*
  • Pain / etiology*
  • Pain Management*
  • Palliative Care / methods*