The PRO-SELF(©) Pain Control Program improves patients' knowledge of cancer pain management

J Pain Symptom Manage. 2012 Sep;44(3):321-30. doi: 10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2011.09.015. Epub 2012 Jun 15.


Context: Inadequate knowledge is one barrier to effective cancer pain management.

Objectives: This study's aim was to evaluate the effects of a psychoeducational intervention (the Norwegian version of the PRO-SELF(©) Pain Control Program) compared with a control group in increasing patients' knowledge of cancer pain management.

Methods: Adult oncology outpatients with pain from bone metastasis of 2.5 or greater on a 0 to 10 numeric rating scale were randomized into the PRO-SELF (n=87) or control (n=92) groups. Patients completed a demographic questionnaire and the Pain Experience Scale (PES) at the beginning and end of the study to assess their knowledge and attitudes. The six-week intervention consisted of education, skills building, and nurse coaching. Mixed-model analyses with tests of a group×time interaction were done for each of the individual items and total PES scores to evaluate between-group differences in changes in knowledge over time.

Results: Except for functional status, no differences were found between the PRO-SELF and control groups on any baseline demographic, clinical, or pain characteristics. Significant group×time interactions were found for all the single item and total PES scores. Compared with the control group, patients in the PRO-SELF group had significant increases in knowledge scores.

Conclusion: The use of a knowledge and attitude survey, like the PES, as part of a psychoeducational intervention provides an effective foundation for patient education in cancer pain management. This individualized approach to education about pain management may save staff time and improve patient outcomes.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Demography
  • Female
  • Health Education / methods*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / complications
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Pain Management / standards*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Self Care