Development and implementation of a pain education program

Betty R. Ferrell, Michelle Rhiner, Bruce A. Ferrell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Pain is a significant problem for cancer patients and is of particular concern for the elderly. This article reports on the development and implementation of a pain management educational intervention for elderly cancer patients and their family caregivers. This patient education program was developed within a research study funded by the American Cancer Society. Subjects were stratified as either elderly (60–75 years) or oldest (greater than 75 years) and then were randomly assigned to an experimental group that received the three‐part, structured pain education program or a control group that received usual care. Control group subjects were offered the intervention at the conclusion of data collection. The outcomes of the pain education were measured at two times after the intervention. Study variables included patient outcomes such as pain intensity, pain knowledge and attitudes, medication compliance, and quality of life as well as family caregiver outcomes. This pain education program was developed, implemented, and evaluated in 40 patients and family caregivers in the first year of a 2‐year project. In this article, the investigators present the development and structure of the three‐part education program, general principles of patient education regarding pain, methods of evaluating pain education, and initial results of the pain education. Pain education includes basic principles of pain relief, pharmacologic interventions, and nondrug interventions for relief of pain. This program has demonstrated that both cancer patients and their family caregivers benefit from a structured education program for relief of cancer pain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3426-3432
Number of pages7
Issue number11 S
StatePublished - Dec 1 1993


  • cancer pain
  • elderly/cancer
  • pain
  • pain education
  • patient education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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