Pain is 1 of the most common symptoms that a cancer patient would experience. A significant barrier to positive pain management is patients’ misconceptions regarding analgesics and inadequate use of nonpharmacological strategies as pain relief.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of a pain management program (PMP) on pain intensity, use of PRN drugs and nonpharmacological strategies as pain relief, and barriers to managing pain in cancer patients.
The study was conducted in the palliative care and hospice ward of a public hospital in Hong Kong. Patients were randomized to either an experimental group (receiving the PMP) or a control group (routine care). There were 38 hospitalized patients, with 20 (13 males and 7 females) in the experimental group and 18 (11 males and 7 females) in the control group; mean age was 61.95 years (experimental group) to 63.94 years (control group).
Upon the completion of PMP, pain scores were significantly reduced in both groups, yet patients in the experimental group showed a significant increase in the use of PRN analgesics and nonpharmacological strategies to relieve pain (P < .05) and significantly reduce barriers to managing their cancer pain (P < .05) compared with the control group.
Cancer patients should be empowered with pain management education to gain knowledge and correct misconceptions in managing their cancer pain.
Integration of the PMP into routine clinical work may help to improve the standard of care for cancer patients. It is recommended to provide pain management education to all cancer patients.
Author Affiliations: School of Nursing, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Kowloon (Dr Tse); School of Nursing, Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital (Mr Wong); School of Nursing, Princess Margaret Hospital (Miss Ng); School of Nursing, Tuen Mun Hospital (Mr Lee); School of Nursing, Prince of Wales Hospital (Mr Chong); and School of Nursing, Union Hospital (Miss Leung), Hong Kong.
The authors have no funding or conflicts of interest to disclose.
Correspondence: Mimi M. Y. Tse, PhD, RN, School of Nursing, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Kowloon, Hong Kong (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Accepted for publication September 4, 2011.