Challenging the representations of cancer pain: experiences of a multidisciplinary pain management group in a palliative care unit

Palliat Support Care. 2005 Mar;3(1):43-9. doi: 10.1017/s1478951505050078.


Objective: This article describes how a Multidisciplinary Pain Management Group was set up in a palliative care unit, and outlines the ways that the group works with different patients. We place these comments in the context of the wider representations of pain.

Methods: Our observations of patients seen by the multidisciplinary team.

Results: We tentatively propose that where the patient's pain has certain characteristics it may require a different approach. Patients who are older, with a lengthy treatment history, may require a different input than younger patients, who may have a number of factors that further complicate their experience of pain. We use our extensive experience with mesothelioma patients to draw a further important distinction between this patient group and other patients.

Significance of research: Our observations suggest the need to allow sufficient time for intensive psychological work to be done with mesothelioma patients in order for pharmacological interventions to be effective.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Delivery of Health Care, Integrated / organization & administration*
  • Holistic Health
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / complications
  • Pain / epidemiology*
  • Pain / nursing
  • Pain Clinics / organization & administration*
  • Palliative Care / organization & administration*
  • Patient Care Team / organization & administration*
  • Program Evaluation
  • Risk Factors
  • United Kingdom