Effectiveness of Knowledge Translation Interventions to Improve Cancer Pain Management

CLEAR Outcomes Research Program, Faculty of Nursing, University of Alberta, Alberta, Canada.
Journal of pain and symptom management (Impact Factor: 2.8). 03/2011; 41(5):915-39. DOI: 10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2010.07.017
Source: PubMed


Cancer pain is prevalent, yet patients do not receive best care despite widely available evidence. Although national cancer control policies call for education, effectiveness of such programs is unclear and best practices are not well defined.
To examine existing evidence on whether knowledge translation (KT) interventions targeting health care providers, patients, and caregivers improve cancer pain outcomes.
A systematic review and meta-analysis were undertaken to evaluate primary studies that examined effects of KT interventions on providers and patients.
Twenty-six studies met the inclusion criteria. Five studies reported interventions targeting health care providers, four focused on patients or their families, one study examined patients and their significant others, and 16 studies examined patients only. Seven quantitative comparisons measured the statistical effects of interventions. A significant difference favoring the treatment group in least pain intensity (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.44, 1.42) and in usual pain/average pain (95% CI: 0.13, 0.74) was observed. No other statistical differences were observed. However, most studies were assessed as having high risk of bias and failed to report sufficient information about the intervention dose, quality of educational material, fidelity, and other key factors required to evaluate effectiveness of intervention design.
Trials that used a higher dose of KT intervention (characterized by extensive follow-up, comprehensive educational program, and higher resource allocation) were significantly more likely to have positive results than trials that did not use this approach. Further attention to methodological issues to improve educational interventions and research to clarify factors that lead to better pain control are urgently needed.

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    • "Specific types of pain, such as breakthrough cancer pain (BTCP), remain difficult to manage effectively. Poorly managed cancer pain is well known to profoundly impact the patients daily life and interfere with quality of life, such as daily function, relationships, sleep and general enjoyment of life (Cummings et al. 2011). A European survey of nurses in cancer care revealed that a patient typically suffered from BTCP two to three times a day, and the severity of the pain for the patients was described as severe by 75.5% of the nurses (Rustoen et al. 2013a). "
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    ABSTRACT: Poorly managed cancer pain is well known to profoundly impact the patient's daily life and interfere with quality of life. Nurses who cared for patients with cancer from 12 European countries participated in a survey of breakthrough cancer pain practice. The purpose was to investigate how nurses assess breakthrough cancer pain, use of standardised tools, confidence in supporting patients and awareness of medications. Responses from 1241 participants showed country variations. The majority of the sample was female, Germany had the highest proportion of male nurses (21.0%), followed by Greece (15.8%). A significantly larger proportion of nurses with longer experience and more education (78.8%) used a comprehensive definition of breakthrough cancer pain. Significant variations in training were found; 71% of Finnish nurses had received training compared with 6% of Greek nurses. Training and using a standardised assessment tool was associated with a significant increase in the nurses' perceived ability to distinguish between breakthrough and background pain. Nurses in countries with the highest proportion of training were most confident in supporting patients. In conclusion, there still exists problems with effective management of patients' breakthrough cancer pain, continuing inability to define the difference between background and breakthrough cancer pain leads to poor treatment.
    European Journal of Cancer Care 09/2013; 23(1). DOI:10.1111/ecc.12118 · 1.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Reliable evidence detailing effective treatments and management practices for chronic noncancer pain exists. However, little is known about which knowledge translation (KT) interventions lead to the uptake of this evidence in practice. To conduct a systematic review of the effectiveness of KT interventions for chronic noncancer pain management. Comprehensive searches of electronic databases, the gray literature and manual searches of journals were undertaken. Randomized controlled trials, controlled clinical trials and controlled before-and-after studies of KT interventions were included. Data regarding interventions and primary outcomes were categorized using a standard taxonomy; a risk-of-bias approach was adopted for study quality. A narrative synthesis of study results was conducted. More than 8500 titles and abstracts were screened, with 230 full-text articles reviewed for eligibility. Nineteen studies were included, of which only a small proportion were judged to be at low risk of bias. Interactive KT education for health care providers has a positive effect on patients' function, but its benefits for other health provider- and patient-related outcomes are inconsistent. Interactive education for patients leads to improvements in knowledge and function. Little research evidence supports the effectiveness of structural changes in health systems and quality improvement processes or coordination of care. KT interventions incorporating interactive education in chronic noncancer pain led to positive effects on patients' function and knowledge about pain. Future studies should provide implementation details and use consistent theoretical frameworks to better estimate the effectiveness of such interventions.
    11/2013; 18(6):e129-41.
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    ABSTRACT: Robust recommendations on the reporting of methods and results of clinical trials such as therapeutic intervention trials are widely used, such as the Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) recommendation. There has not been agreement on analogous publication standards for educational intervention trials, making interpretation of educational intervention studies difficult. The purpose of this report is to describe common deficiencies in reporting of educational intervention trials for cancer pain control, and to offer suggestions for authors to consider as they plan their studies, and report and publish research findings for educational interventions that use randomized controlled trials and other educational trial methodologies. A systematic review of published knowledge translation intervention trials intended to improve cancer pain was undertaken, of which most were educational interventions. Many educational intervention clinical trials designed to improve management of cancer pain appeared methodologically weak, and their results were more difficult to interpret because of reporting deficiencies. In the course of the review, patterns of deficiencies in reporting of methods and trial results were documented. Deficiencies in reporting were compared with the CONSORT recommendations for reporting clinical trials, and parallel recommendations were drafted for educational intervention trials. Patterns of deficiency in reporting cancer pain educational intervention trials were synthesized into seven domains, generically applicable to a range of study designs. Draft recommendations intended to address these deficiencies were constructed to improve communication of educational research results. Development of a standardized reporting template for clinical trials in cancer pain educational interventions could advance knowledge transfer research and thereby increase effectiveness of national and international cancer control policy designed to support cancer pain control.
    Journal of pain and symptom management 08/2010; 40(2):301-8. DOI:10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2009.12.011 · 2.80 Impact Factor
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