Cancer-Related Acute Pain: A Systematic Review of Evidence-Based Interventions for Putting Evidence Into Practice

Thiruppavai Sundaramurthi, RN, PhD, CCRN, OCN®; Natalie Gallagher, RN, MSN, MPH, OCN®; Bethany Sterling, MSN, CRNP, AOCNP®, CHPN


Background: Identifying and implementing evidence-based interventions for cancer-related acute pain can decrease adverse effects and improve quality of life. 

Objectives: This article presents current evidence supporting interventions to reduce cancer-related acute pain. 

Methods: PubMed and CINAHL® databases were searched to identify studies addressing interventions to manage acute pain in patients with cancer. The interventions are categorized according to the Putting Evidence Into Practice classification schema.

Findings: Interventions that are recommended for practice in the management of acute pain include epidural analgesia and local anesthetic infusions. Interventions likely to be effective include pharmacologic interventions, such as gabapentin and intraspinal analgesia, and nonpharmacologic interventions, such as music therapy. Methodologically stronger clinical trials of new and existing therapies are needed to provide clinicians with accurate resources for managing cancer-related acute pain.

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