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Br J Gen Pract. 2015 Nov;65(640):e754-60. doi: 10.3399/bjgp15X687397.

Utilising out-of-hours primary care for assistance with cancer pain: a semi-structured interview study of patient and caregiver experiences.

Author information

1
Centre for Academic Primary Care, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen.
2
Division of Occupational Therapies and Arts Therapies, School of Health Sciences, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Pain is the most frequent complication of cancer and an important reason for out-of-hours (OOH) primary care contacts by patients with established cancer. Existing quantitative data give little insight into the reason for these contacts. Exploring such encounters of care could highlight ways to improve anticipatory cancer care and communication between daytime and OOH primary care services.

AIM:

To explore the experiences, views, and opinions of patients and their caregivers who have used OOH primary care for help with managing cancer pain.

DESIGN AND SETTING:

A semi-structured interview study with patients and caregivers who have utilised an OOH primary care service in Grampian, Scotland, because of pain related to cancer.

METHOD:

Semi-structured interviews with 11 patients and four caregivers (n = 15), transcribed verbatim and analysed using framework analysis and, to a lesser extent, inductive thematic analysis.

RESULTS:

Six key themes emerged: making sense of pain and predicting its likely course; beliefs about analgesics; priority daytime access; the importance of continuity of care and communication between all involved; barriers and facilitators to seeking help in the OOH period; and satisfaction/dissatisfaction with OOH care. Three prominent sub-themes were: patient knowledge; the influence of a caregiver on decision-making; and the benefits of having a palliative care summary.

CONCLUSION:

Effective daytime and anticipatory care can positively influence OOH care. Interventions that aid patients in understanding cancer pain, communicating about pain, utilising analgesics effectively, and seeking appropriate and timely help may improve cancer pain management.

KEYWORDS:

general practice; neoplasm; pain

PMID:
26500323
PMCID:
PMC4617270
DOI:
10.3399/bjgp15X687397
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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