Developing the oncology practice context for pain assessment and pain registration in Ireland: an action research project

Pain is one of the most prevalent symptoms of patients with cancer, which hampers daily activities and quality of life. Systematic pain assessment and documentation using a validated pain assessment tool at each visit in patients with cancer are key recommendations in the most recent clinical practice guidelines on cancer pain management.
Aims and Objectives: Conduct a systematic review to identify the evidence base for comprehensive pain assessment and evaluation in cancer survivors Conduct a systematic review to identify any promising psycho-educational interventions which have identified a priori based on known evidence of their effectiveness in the context of pain assessment and management in cancer survivors Capture cancer survivors'experiences and challenges of living with pain and create a story that represents that journey Distinguish an effective treatment from a less effective or ineffective one, i.e., Psycho-educational -Pain-Program with cancer survivors
The research methodology will be co-operative inquiry, which is a branch of action research. Action research is a participatory, democratic process concerned with developing practical knowledge in the pursuit of worthwhile human purposes, grounded in a participatory worldview.
A qualitative descriptive approach will be used using purposeful sampling techniques with semi-structured interviews to capture cancer survivors'experiences and challenges of living with pain and create a story that represents that journey.
Another stage of this research project will be to design a randomised control trial to evaluate the effectiveness of a psycho-educational -Pain-Program with cancer survivors. The literature suggests that health care professionals who provide pain management to survivors may need to use chronic pain management strategies and an interdisciplinary approach to optimise rehabilitation as well as pain relief.
A final stage of the process will be a focus group with the participants to ascertain the impact of the pain program.
Data Analysis:
Descriptive statistics will be conducted with SPSS version 20 (IBM SPSS Statistics, New York, USA).
The focus groups will be audiotaped, transcribed and encrypted. The analysis undertaken will follow systematic text condensation.


Award Date
20 October 2016
Award Value
Principal Investigator
Professor Noleen Sheridan
Host Institution
University College Dublin
Project Development Grants