Pain education programs (PEP) and pain consultations (PC) have been studied to overcome patient-related and professional-related barriers in cancer pain management. These interventions were studied separately, not in combination, and half of the studies reported a significant improvement in pain. Moreover, most PEP studies did not mention the adequacy of pain treatment. We studied the effect of PC combined with PEP on pain and interference by pain with daily functioning in comparison to standard care (SC). Patients were randomly assigned to SC (n = 37) or PC-PEP (n = 35). PEP consisted of patient-tailored pain education and weekly monitoring of pain and side effects. We measured overall reduction in pain intensity and daily interference over an 8-week period as well as adequacy of pain treatment and adherence. The overall reduction in pain intensity and daily interference was significantly greater after randomization to PC-PEP than to SC (average pain 31% vs 20%, P =.03; current pain 30% vs 16%, P =.016; interference 20% vs 2.5%, P =.01). Adequacy of pain management did not differ between the groups. Patients were more adherent to analgesics after randomization to PC-PEP than to SC (P =.03). In conclusion, PC-PEP improves pain, daily interference, and patient adherence in oncology outpatients.

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Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Oldenmenger, W., Sillevis Smitt, P., Montfort, K., de Raaf, P., & van der Rijt, C. (2011). A combined pain consultation and pain education program decreases average and current pain and decreases interference in daily life by pain in oncology outpatients: A randomized controlled trial. Pain, 152(11), 2632–2639. doi:10.1016/j.pain.2011.08.009