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Oncol Nurs Forum. 1995 Sep;22(8):1235-41.

Differences in pain knowledge and perception of the pain experience between outpatients with cancer and their family caregivers.

Author information

  • 1Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA.

Abstract

PURPOSE/OBJECTIVES:

To determine if knowledge about pain and the perception of the pain experience differ when comparing outpatients experiencing cancer-related pain with their family caregivers.

DESIGN:

Quantitative, descriptive.

SETTING:

Sixteen oncology outpatient settings that are part of the Oncology Nursing Research Network.

SAMPLE:

Eighty-six outpatients with cancer-related pain and their family caregivers.

METHODS:

Patients and their family caregivers were recruited in the outpatient setting and asked to complete a demographic questionnaire and the Pain Experience Scale. The patients also were asked to complete the Karnofsky Performance Scale.

MAIN RESEARCH VARIABLES:

Patients' and their family caregivers' knowledge about pain and their perception of the pain experience.

FINDINGS:

No significant differences in knowledge scores were found between the patients and their family caregivers. A significant difference in the perception of the pain experience was found, with the family caregivers viewing the experience more negatively than the patients did. Family caregivers reported that (a) patients had significantly higher levels of pain compared to patient reports, (b) patients experienced significantly greater distress from their pain than the patients reported for themselves, and (c) family caregivers experienced significantly greater distress from the patients' pain than the patients reported for their caregiver.

CONCLUSIONS:

Outpatients with cancer and their family caregivers possess limited knowledge about pain and pain management and perceive the pain experience differently.

IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING PRACTICE:

Outpatients and their family caregivers need to be better educated about how to manage cancer-related pain. In addition, to reduce patient and caregiver distress, oncology nurses need to facilitate communication between patients and family caregivers about the pain experience.

PMID:
8532548
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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