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Keywords

Cancer pain management, Decision support system, Nurses

 

Authors

  1. IM, EUN-OK PhD, MPH, RN, CNS, FAAN
  2. CHEE, WONSHIK PhD

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to develop a decision support system using fuzzy logic that would support nurses' decisions about cancer pain management, especially for ethnic minority cancer patients. The study had two phases: (1) data collection and (2) development of the decision support computer program. In the data collection phase, an Internet survey of 428 cancer patients and four ethnic-specific online forums (about 30 participants per forum) were conducted to gather data on the cancer pain experience of the four major ethnic groups in the United States. The development phase included two components: (1) development of three modules, including a knowledge base module, a decision module, and a self-adaptation module; and (2) a 3-month evaluation of the decision support computer program by oncology nurses and subsequent incorporation of their feedback into the program. The Internet survey and online forum data were processed into fuzzy and crisp data sets, and ethnic-specific algorithms for the decision module were developed. Using the self-adaptation module, the decision support computer program was further refined as additional data were processed. Then, the decision support computer program was further developed by adding additional components suggested by the oncology nurses.