Barriers to Effective Cancer Pain Management: A Survey of Hospitalized Cancer Patients in Australia

Yates, Patsy, Edwards, Helen E., Nash, Robyn E., Walsh, Anne M., Fentiman, Belinda J., Skerman, Helen M., McDowell, Jan K., & Najman, Jackob M. (2002) Barriers to Effective Cancer Pain Management: A Survey of Hospitalized Cancer Patients in Australia. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 23(5), pp. 393-405.


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The purpose of this study was to examine attitudinal barriers to effective pain management in a consecutively recruited cohort of 114 cancer patients from four Australian hospitals. When surveyed, 48% of this sample reported experiencing pain within the previous 24 hours. Of these, 56% reported this pain to be "distressing, horrible or excruciating," with large proportions indicating that this pain had affected their movement, sleep and emotional well-being. Three factors were identified as potentially impacting on patients' responses to pain—poor levels of patient knowledge about pain, low perceived control over pain, and a deficit in communication about pain. A trend for older patients to experience more severe pain was also identified. These older patients reported being more willing to tolerate pain and perceive less control over their pain. Suggestions are made for developing patient education programs and further research using concepts drawn from broader social and behavioral models.

Impact and interest:

100 citations in Scopus
83 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 1602
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Cancer pain, barriers, communication, patient education
DOI: 10.1016/S0885-3924(02)00387-1
ISSN: 0885-3924
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > NURSING (111000) > Nursing not elsewhere classified (111099)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2002 Elsevier
Copyright Statement: Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Deposited On: 11 Oct 2005 00:00
Last Modified: 10 Aug 2011 16:25

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