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Handbook of Communication in Oncology and Palliative
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David Kissane, Barry Bultz, Phyllis Butow, and Ilora Finlay

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199238361

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199238361.001.0001

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Communication strategies and skills for optimal pain control

Communication strategies and skills for optimal pain control

Chapter:
(p.315) Chapter 27 Communication strategies and skills for optimal pain control
Source:
Handbook of Communication in Oncology and Palliative Care
Author(s):

Melanie Lovell

Frances Boyle

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199238361.003.0027

Pain is a significant cause of suffering for cancer patients. The onset of pain can herald a host of fears of death, disability, disfigurement, dependence, and distress. The role of healthcare professionals is to offer competent pain management with compassion and commitment to excellence, central to which is facilitating communication with the patient. Pain is not an event in isolation. It occurs in a personal and physical environment influenced by the social, cultural, spiritual, and biological inheritance of the patient. Thus, the experience of pain has a unique impact on, and meaning for, each individual. At the time of assessment, factors such as associated fatigue, depression, and anxiety may result in the pain becoming overwhelming. Assessing the pain involves not only measuring the level of pain and determining the nature of the pain, so as to diagnose the aetiology and mechanism of pain, but also exploring the ‘deeper level of pain experience’. Failure to do so can result in poor pain control and a lost opportunity for transformation of the experience and healing of the individual.

Keywords:   pain, cancer patients, pain control, healthcare professionals, pain management, communication, depression, fatigue, anxiety

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