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Healthcare professionals' knowledge, understanding and confidence to manage chronic pain after cancer treatment: A UK survey

Armoogum, Julie; Harcourt, Diana; Foster, Claire; Llewellyn, Alison; Hepburn, Julie; Prior, Michael; McCabe, Candida

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Authors

Diana Harcourt Diana2.Harcourt@uwe.ac.uk
Professor in Appearance Research

Claire Foster

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Alison Llewellyn Alison.Llewellyn@uwe.ac.uk
Associate Professor in Clinical Research

Julie Hepburn

Michael Prior

Candy McCabe Candy.Mccabe@uwe.ac.uk
Professor of Clinical Research and Practice



Abstract

Introduction: Healthcare professionals are vital in preparing people living with and beyond cancer about the risks of chronic pain after cancer treatment. To do so, healthcare professionals need to be knowledgeable and confident about chronic pain after cancer treatment, yet little is known about their understanding or confidence of this common long-term and late side effect of cancer treatment. Aim: To identify healthcare professionals’ knowledge and understanding of chronic pain after cancer treatment and consider how confident they are to inform, listen and signpost people living with and beyond cancer to appropriate information and support. Method: A cross sectional online survey was distributed to healthcare professionals in the UK via cancer and primary care networks, cancer alliances and social media. The survey consisted of four domains: 1) knowledge and understanding, 2) information and support, 3) confidence and 4) barriers. Quantitative data were analysed with descriptive statistics and free text comments were analysed using qualitative content analysis. Results: Healthcare professionals reported limited knowledge and understanding of chronic pain after cancer treatment. Healthcare professionals lacked confidence to talk to people about chronic pain after cancer treatment and viewed their lack of knowledge as a barrier. Additional barriers included ‘Limited service provision’, ‘Conflict between services’, ‘Not my role’ and ‘Challenges in diagnosing chronic pain in cancer survivors’. Conclusion: Chronic pain after cancer can be a significant issue for those living with and beyond cancer, yet healthcare professionals report limited knowledge of it or understanding of the impact. More education is needed to increase healthcare professionals’ knowledge and confidence in chronic pain after cancer treatment.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 14, 2024
Online Publication Date May 23, 2024
Publication Date Aug 1, 2024
Deposit Date Jun 19, 2024
Publicly Available Date Jun 19, 2024
Journal European Journal of Oncology Nursing
Print ISSN 1462-3889
Electronic ISSN 1532-2122
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 71
Article Number 102610
DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejon.2024.102610
Keywords Nurse, Survivor, Persistent pain, Allied health professional, Chronic pain, Clinician, Cancer, Healthcare professional, Oncology
Public URL https://uwe-repository.worktribe.com/output/12073711

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