Pain Research and Management

Pain Research and Management / 2013 / Article

Original Article | Open Access

Volume 18 |Article ID 439594 |

Christine J McPherson, Thomas Hadjistavropoulos, Michelle M Lobchuk, Kelly N Kilgour, "Cancer-Related Pain in Older Adults Receiving Palliative Care: Patient and Family Caregiver Perspectives on the Experience of Pain", Pain Research and Management, vol. 18, Article ID 439594, 8 pages, 2013.

Cancer-Related Pain in Older Adults Receiving Palliative Care: Patient and Family Caregiver Perspectives on the Experience of Pain


BACKGROUND: Despite an emphasis on pain management in palliative care, pain continues to be a common problem for individuals with advanced cancer. Many of those affected are older due to the disproportionate incidence of cancer in this age group. There remains little understanding of how older patients and their family caregivers perceive patients’ cancer-related pain, despite its significance for pain management in the home setting.OBJECTIVES: To explore and describe the cancer pain perceptions and experiences of older adults with advanced cancer and their family caregivers.METHODS: A qualitative descriptive approach was used to describe and interpret data collected from semistructured interviews with 18 patients (≥65 years of age) with advanced cancer receiving palliative care at home and their family caregivers.RESULTS: The main category ‘Experiencing cancer pain’ incorporated three themes. The theme ‘Feeling cancer pain’ included the sensory aspects of the pain, its origin and meanings attributed to the pain. A second theme, ‘Reacting to cancer pain’, included patients’ and family caregivers’ behavioural, cognitive (ie, attitudes, beliefs and control) and emotional responses to the pain. A third theme, ‘Living with cancer pain’ incorporated individual and social-relational changes that resulted from living with cancer pain.CONCLUSIONS: The findings provide an awareness of cancer pain experienced by older patients and their family caregivers within the wider context of ongoing relationships, increased patient morbidity and other losses common in the aged.

Copyright © 2013 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

More related articles

 PDF Download Citation Citation
 Order printed copiesOrder

Related articles

Article of the Year Award: Outstanding research contributions of 2020, as selected by our Chief Editors. Read the winning articles.