A Systematic Review of the Patient- and Carer-Related Factors Affecting the Experience of Pain for Advanced Cancer Patients Cared for at Home

John A. Smyth, Martin Dempster*, Ian Warwick, Pauline Wilkinson, Noleen K. McCorry

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)
374 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Context: Effective pain management is a priority in the palliative care of advanced cancer patients. A body of research is emerging examining the factors that influence the management and experience of pain for such individuals. Identifying such factors should allow for the development of targeted interventions to improve pain management in the home while ultimately reducing unnecessary suffering for the patient. Objectives: The objective of this study was to identify relevant patient- and carer-related factors which have an effect on the pain experienced by advanced cancer patients cared for at home. Method: This is a systematic review following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta Analyses (PRISMA) statement guidelines. Studies were retrieved from the CINAHL, MEDLINE, and Web of Science and assessed independently by two reviewers with discrepancies assessed by a third before quality assessment and data extraction. A narrative synthesis was produced. Results: Our search strategy produced 720 hits, of which 10 studies were retained for the final analysis. The factors identified included carer knowledge of cancer pain management, carer burden, carer and patient distress, pain rating disparity, patient well-being, patient depression, patient affective experience, patient body image, and satisfaction with palliative/medical care. All factors identified are supported by only some evidence with many having only been explored in single studies. Conclusions: There is a lack of quantitative research in the area of factors influencing the experience of pain for advanced cancer patients cared for at home. Such findings would be useful in developing theories of change that would underpin interventions aimed at improving pain outcomes for this population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)496-507
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Pain and Symptom Management
Volume55
Issue number2
Early online date24 Aug 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018

Keywords

  • Advanced cancer
  • Pain management
  • Systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

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