The Managing Advanced Cancer Pain Together (MACPT) conversation tool: an evaluation of use in clinical practice

Pain Manag. 2022 May;12(4):435-446. doi: 10.2217/pmt-2021-0066. Epub 2021 Dec 6.


Aim: To investigate use of the 'Managing Advanced Cancer Pain Together' conversation tool between individuals with advanced cancer and healthcare professionals (HCPs) during routine consultations. Methods: Twenty-one patients and six HCPs completed questionnaires before and after use of the tool (at their routine consultation 1 and consecutive consultation 2, respectively). Results: Patients and HCPs were satisfied with communication during both consultations. When using the tool, patients most frequently selected physical pain descriptors (95.2%), followed by emotional (81.0%), social (28.6%) and spiritual (28.6%) descriptors. Patients found the tool useful, stating that it helped them describe their pain. HCPs considered the tool difficult to incorporate into consultations. Conclusion: The study highlighted the need to consider the various aspects of cancer pain.

Keywords: advanced cancer; communication; healthcare professional; pain; patient; satisfaction.

Plain language summary

The Managing Advanced Cancer Pain Together conversation tool was designed to help patients with advanced cancer and their healthcare professionals (HCPs) discuss various aspects of pain (physical, emotional, social and spiritual pain) during their consultations. The tool comprises 41 words to describe pain, and patients are asked to select three words that best describe their experience. For this study, patients with advanced cancer and their HCPs completed two consultations, one without the tool and one with the tool. Overall, patients found the tool helpful and used words relating to physical (95.2%), emotional (81.0%), social (28.6%) and spiritual (28.6%) pain to describe their recent experience. HCPs reported that the tool may be difficult to use during consultation due to limited time.

MeSH terms

  • Cancer Pain* / therapy
  • Communication
  • Health Personnel
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms* / complications
  • Neoplasms* / therapy
  • Pain Management
  • Professional-Patient Relations

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