A Systematic Review of the Implementation of Best-Practice Guidelines for Oncology Pain Management

Start/End Dates: 2006 - 2008

Investigators: Cummings GG (PI), Hagen N, Fainsinger R, Stiles C.

Grant Amount: $33,000

Description: Cancer pain is prevalent, and frequently patients do not receive best care despite widely available evidence. National cancer control policies often call for education to promote better cancer pain control. However, effectiveness of these programs is unclear, and approaches most likely to be successful are undefined. The Canadian Cancer Society has documented that cancer pain is common, and undertreated, in every region of Canada that it was evaluated. Despite improvements in cancer pain management, under-treatment continues and specific types of pain, such as breakthrough and neuropathic cancer pain, remain difficult to manage effectively. Unrelieved cancer pain is associated with high levels of depression and anxiety, and can greatly interfere with daily functioning, including general activity, mobility, relationships with others, sleep and enjoyment of life.

Objective: This review aimed to determine the effectiveness of interventions targeting behaviour and facilitating uptake of new knowledge by healthcare practitioners, patients and their family caregivers to improve cancer pain management.


Armijo-Olivo S, Stiles CR, Hagen NA, Biondo PD, Cummings GG. (2012). Assessment of study quality for systematic reviews: a comparison of the Cochrane Collaboration Risk of Bias Tool and the Effective Public Health Practice Project Quality Assessment Tool: methodological research. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice, 18: 12-18.

Cummings GG, Armijo Olivo S, Biondo P, Stiles C, Yurtseven O, Fainsinger R, Hagen NA. (2011). Effectiveness of knowledge translation interventions to improve cancer pain management (Review). Journal of Pain & Symptom Management, 41 (5): 915-939.

Stiles C, Biondo P, Cummings GG,Hagen N. (2010). Clinical trials focusing on cancer pain educational interventions: core components to include during planning and reporting. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 40(2): 301-308.

Cummings GG, Hagen NA, Fainsinger R, Armijo Olivo S, Stiles C, Biondo P. (2008). Effectiveness of knowledge translation interventions to improve cancer pain management (Protocol). Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Issue 4. Art. No. CD007499. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD00749