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.