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The Usefulness of a Daily Pain Management Diary for Outpatients With Cancer-Related Pain

Karen L. Schumacher
Setsuko Koresawa
Claudia West
Marylin Dodd
Steven M. Paul
Debu Tripathy
Peter Koo
Christine Miaskowski
ONF 2002, 29(9), 1304-1313 DOI: 10.1188/02.ONF.1304-1313

Purpose/Objectives: To describe the usefulness of daily pain management diaries to outpatients with cancer who participated in a randomized clinical trial of the PRO-SELF© Pain Control Program.

Design: Randomized clinical trial in which a daily pain management diary was used for data collection in the control group and for data collection and nurse coaching regarding the pain management program in the intervention group.

Setting: Seven outpatient oncology settings.

Sample: 155 patients with pain from bone metastases and 90 family caregivers.

Methods: Content and statistical analysis of audiotaped answers to a semistructured questionnaire.

Main Research Variables: Patients' and family caregivers' perceptions of the usefulness of a daily pain management diary; specific ways in which the diary was used.

Findings: Patients in both the intervention (75%) and control groups (73%) found the diary useful. The diary was used to heighten awareness of pain, guide pain management behavior, enhance a sense of control, and facilitate communication. Family caregivers in both groups also reported that the diary was useful.

Conclusions: The completion of a daily pain management diary is useful to patients and family caregivers and may function as an intervention for self-care.

Implications for Nursing: Research-based evidence supports the importance of using a daily pain management diary in clinical practice.

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