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Keywords

Cancer pain, Nurses' knowledge, Equianalgesia, Opioids, Breakthrough doses, Titration, Transdermal fentanyl, Extended release morphine.

 

Authors

  1. Ferrell, Betty Rolling Ph.D., F.A.A.N.
  2. McCaffery, Margo R.N., M.S., F.A.A.N.

Abstract

: Nurses are recognized as the cornerstone of palliative care. Yet, surveys of nurses' knowledge of cancer pain management reveal serious knowledge deficits that could adversely affect the care of patients with cancer pain. Previous research has explored basic pain management issues such as pain assessment and myths and misconceptions surrounding pain, and principles of analgesic use. Advances in recent years have increased the demand for continuing education that will extend scientific advances in pain to clinical practice. The purpose of this article is to share results from a study which evaluated nurses knowledge regarding three methods of analgesic delivery that have become common in clinical practice: intravenous morphine, extended release morphine, and transdermal fentanyl. Several resources are provided to assist clinicians in the appropriate use of these analgesic methods.