The pain of residents with terminal cancer in USA nursing homes: family members' perspectives.

Patricia H. Berry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Cancer pain continues to be poorly treated despite efforts aimed at improvement. This causes considerable distress to both patients and their families. The purpose of this research is to explore the perspectives of family members of nursing home residents with terminal cancer, about pain and pain management. Participants who believed their pain could be better managed viewed their family member's pain and illness differently than those who believed the pain could not be managed better. The family members who believed better pain management was possible often took on the role of advocate and saw to it that the pain was addressed. Those who believed that their relative did not have adequate pain relief, but felt better management was not possible, expressed no concerns about this aspect of their relatives' care; they could not separate their relatives' pain from their illness. The interpretation and presence of adequate pain management is critical for family members to construct meaning around their relative's pain. When family members do not believe that the pain can be managed any better, this acts as a barrier to the resident's access to adequate pain management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20-27
Number of pages8
JournalInternational journal of palliative nursing
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


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