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Barriers to effective cancer pain management: a survey of Australian family caregivers

Publication year
Aranda, S.; Yates, P.; Edwards, H.; Nash, R.; Skerman, H.; McCarthy, A.

Cancer pain continues to be an important focus of health research and intervention development. The continuing shift of cancer care to the community increases the family caregiver’s role in pain management and highlights the need to understand family experiences and also family barriers to effective pain management. This paper presents the findings of an Australian study exploring attitudinal barriers to effective pain management amongst 75 family caregivers of people with cancer attending an outpatient clinic. Approximately 75% of the caregivers demonstrated concerns or were unsure about addiction, a belief likely to impact on the use of prescribed opioids in the home. Caregivers demonstrated similar levels of concern about side-effects or whether the presence of pain indicated disease progression. These findings support research in other populations and are further evidence of the need to include family caregivers, along with patients, in intervention studies aimed at reducing the impact of these barriers on effective pain management.

Research abstracts