Nurse Coaching to Explore and Modify Patient Attitudinal Barriers Interfering With Effective Cancer Pain Management

Kathleen F. Fahey

Stephen M. Rao

Marilyn K. Douglas

Mary L. Thomas

Janette E. Elliott

Christine Miaskowski

cancer pain, pain management, self-report
ONF 2008, 35(2), 233-240. DOI: 10.1188/08.ONF.233-240

Purpose/Objectives: To describe a complex coaching intervention to help patients with cancer pain explore beliefs and attitudinal barriers interfering with pain management. Patients were coached to explore beliefs about pain, communications about pain management, and the use of analgesics and nonpharmacologic interventions.

Data Sources: Published journal articles, abstracts, and psychology textbooks.

Data Synthesis: Personal beliefs, related attitudinal barriers, and associated behaviors impede patient adherence to and success with pain management treatments. Interventions targeting beliefs help patients overcome attitudinal barriers, improve treatment adherence, and obtain better pain relief.

Conclusions: Coaching patients to explore beliefs reduces ineffective behaviors and improves pain treatment adherence.

Implications for Nursing: A coaching intervention incorporating assessment of patient beliefs promotes self-management, self-efficacy, and adherence to pain management treatment plans. Advanced practice nurses should consider incorporating this intervention into their communications with patients experiencing cancer pain.

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