Behavioral Pain Intervention for Hospice and Palliative Care Patients: An Integrative Review

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Despite the advances in pain management, achieving optimal pain control in hospice and palliative care is challenging. Patient/caregiver’s lack of pain management knowledge, poor pain reporting, and poor adherence to pain management regimens are all associated with inadequate pain control. The purpose of this integrated review is to examine behavioral interventions designed for patients and caregivers to improve pain control in hospice and palliative care settings. Ten studies were identified through a database search. Seven of the 10 studies found significant improvement in at least 1 pain marker. Of the 7 studies that looked at changes in pain knowledge, 5 had significant improvements in at least 1 knowledge subscale. The 2 studies that looked at adherence to pain management found significant improvements. One limitation of the reviewed studies was that the delivery of them would not be efficient across all health-care settings, and, as a consequence, more technologically sophisticated delivery methods are needed. Therefore, while it is clear from the review that effective pain management interventions have been developed for hospice and palliative care patients, it is also clear that future research needs to focus on providing these same interventions through a more technologically sophisticated delivery method.

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