Barriers in the management of cancer-related pain and strategies to overcome them: findings of a qualitative research involving physicians and nurses in Italy

Prandi, Cesarina and Garrino, Lorenza and Mastromarino, Paola and Torino, Francesco and Vellone, Ercole and Peruselli, Carlo and Alvaro, Rosaria (2015) Barriers in the management of cancer-related pain and strategies to overcome them: findings of a qualitative research involving physicians and nurses in Italy. Annali dell’Istituto Superiore di Sanità, 51 (1). pp. 71-78. ISSN 0021-2571

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Abstract

INTRODUCTION AND AIMS: There are many barriers and obstacles that even today lead to an inadequate treatment of cancer-related pain. The aim is to describe the experiences of a group of Italian physicians and nurses as far as the nature of these barriers is concerned and the possible tools to be used to overcome them. MATERIAL AND METHOD: We run 5 focus groups with 42 healthcare professionals (11 physicians, 31 nurses) working in 5 hospitals in Italy. The findings of the focus groups were analysed according to the "Content Analysis" method. RESULTS: Five main items emerged: the importance of communication, the need for education regarding pain therapy, the ethnic/cultural/religious differences, the mutual trust and support within the working group, the daily challenges. CONCLUSION: In harmony with the most recent literature, physicians and nurses voice above all their need for an education more directly aimed at overcoming the prevailing barriers rooted in ignorance, prejudice and fears.

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