PURPOSE/OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the effectiveness of a psychoeducational program (i.e., PRO-SELF Pain Control Program) compared to standard care in increasing patients' knowledge regarding cancer pain management. DESIGN: Randomized clinical trial. SETTING: Seven outpatient settings in northern California. SAMPLE: 174 outpatients with cancer and pain from bone metastasis. METHODS: Following randomization into either the PRO-SELF or standard care group, patients completed the Pain Experience Scale (PES) prior to and at the completion of the intervention. MAIN RESEARCH VARIABLES: Total and individual item scores on the PES. FINDINGS: Total PES knowledge scores increased significantly in the PRO-SELF group (21%) compared to the standard care group (0.5%). Significant improvements in knowledge scores for patients in the PRO-SELF group were found on five of the nine PES items when compared to baseline scores. CONCLUSIONS: The PRO-SELF Pain Control Program was an effective approach to increase patients' knowledge of cancer pain management. IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING: The use of a structured paper-and-pencil questionnaire, such as the PES, as part of a psychoeducational intervention provides an effective foundation for patient education in cancer pain management. Oncology nurses can use patients' responses to this type of questionnaire to individualize the teaching and to spend more time on the identified knowledge deficits. This individualized approach to education about pain management may save staff time and improve patient outcomes.
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