Cancer pain is an unrelenting symptom with the potential to alter the quality of life of patients. To adequately manage pain, nurses caring for cancer patients need to fully understand each patient's pain experience. The purpose of this study was to identify the intensity, distress, frequency, or constancy of pain in patients treated for cancer or cancer symptoms and to better understand patient barriers to pain management. This cross-sectional study included patients (N = 105) treated for cancer or cancer symptoms at 2 outpatient medical centers. Assessments included the Pain Barriers Scale, the Cancer Symptom Scale, and the Multidimensional QOL Scale–Cancer. Descriptive statistics and Spearman correlations were used to analyze the data. Sixty-nine percent of patients reported present pain of moderate to severe intensity that caused distress, was frequent/constant, or interfered with their lives. Patients with the greatest pain distress reported the greatest intensity of pain (r = 0.77) and the greatest interference (r = 0.78) with daily lives. Cancer pain was associated with significant distress and interference with life activities and occurred frequently or constantly for many study patients.
Carmen Rodriguez, PhD, ANP-BC, AOCN, is associate professor, University of South Florida–College of Nursing, Tampa.
Ming Ji, PhD, is professor, University of South Florida–College of Nursing, Tampa.
Hsiao-Lan Wang, PhD, RN, CMSRN, ACSM EP-C, is associate professor, University of South Florida–College of Nursing, Tampa.
Tapan Padhya, MD, is professor, College of Medicine, University of South Florida–Health, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa.
Susan C. McMillan, PhD, ARNP, FAAN, is distinguished professor, University of South Florida–College of Nursing, Tampa.
Address correspondence to Carmen Rodriguez, PhD, ANP-BC, AOCN, University of South Florida–College of Nursing, 12901 Bruce B. Downs Blvd, MDC Box 22, Tampa, FL 33612 (email@example.com).
This study was funded by the Thompson Professorship in Oncology Nursing.
The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.