Bennett, M.I., Bagnall, A.M., & Jose Closs, S. (2009). How effective are patient-based educational interventions in the management of cancer pain? Systematic review and meta-analysis. Pain, 143(3), 192–199.doi: 10.1016/j.pain.2009.01.016
To quantify and compare the benefits of various patient-based educational interventions for cancer pain management; to improve understanding of the relationship between education and improved pain outcomes
The search retrieved 61 studies. Authors chose 21 studies for analysis. Twelve studies included pain-outcome data suitable for meta-analysis. Authors used the Cochrane Collaboration recommendations for randomized controlled trials as the basis of study evaluation. Studies were done in six different countries.
Findings demonstrate that patient-based educational interventions for cancer pain improve knowledge and attitudes and can reduce pain intensity. The fact that effects were greater in studies with no attentional control raises the question of the benefits of attention itself. Authors observed that benefits were associated with both single- and multiple-exposure studies. Authors pointed out that the weighted mean difference in pain intensity, with educational interventions, was as large as that reported in another analysis for some types of co-analgesic therapies. This finding supports the clinical relevance of providing patient education.
Most of this research was done early in cancer care and may not be directly applicable to patients in later phases of care. Additional research, with long-term follow-up and other patient groups, is needed.