Methodological issues in the recruitment of cancer pain patients and their caregivers

Authors

  • Sean Ransom,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Psychiatry, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School/The Cancer Institute of New Jersey, 195 Little Albany St., # 5549-19, New Brunswick, NJ, 08903
    • Department of Psychiatry, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School/The Cancer Institute of New Jersey, 195 Little Albany St., # 5549-19, New Brunswick, NJ, 08903
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    • Psychology Intern.

  • Lora M. Azzarello,

    1. Health Outcomes and Behavior Program, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute
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    • Research Scientist.

  • Susan C. McMillan

    1. College of Nursing, University of South Florida
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    • American Cancer Society Professor of Oncology Nursing.


Abstract

Published pain management guidelines recommend that caregivers of cancer pain patients be provided pain management education, but little is known about the utility of providing such information. This study examined recruitment and retention of cancer pain patients and caregivers for a randomized clinical trial that provided psychoeducation and stress management training to caregivers. Of 397 patient/caregiver dyads screened, only 22 (5.5%) were study eligible, consented to participate, and completed the study. A variety of problems hampered successful participation, including a high proportion of non-cancer-related pain syndromes among patients, a high proportion of patients without caregivers, and participants' perception of study burden. Results suggest that researchers should recruit from a broad patient base and limit study burden on participants. © 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Res Nurs Health 29:190–198, 2006

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