Evidence-based practice for pain management for cancer patients in an acute care setting


  • Grant: This work was supported by the Korean Research Foundation (2009-0067338).
  • Potential financial conflicts of interest: None.


The purpose of this study is to implement an evidence utilization project using an audit and feedback approach to improve cancer pain management. A three-phased audit and feedback approach was used. A 46-bed oncology nursing unit in the university's cancer centre was selected as a research site. Nursing records extracted from 137 patients (65 for the baseline assessment and 72 for the follow-up audit) were used to examine nurse compliance with four audit criteria derived from best practice guidelines related to the assessment and management of pain. We observed a significant improvement in compliance from baseline to follow-up for the following criteria: documenting the side effects of opioids (2–83%), use of a formalized pain assessment tool (22–75%), and providing education for pain assessment and management to patients and caregivers (0–47%). The audit and feedback method was applicable to the implementation of clinical practice guidelines for cancer pain management. Leadership from both administrative personnel and staff nurses working together contributes to the spread of an evidence-based practice culture in clinical settings. As it was conducted in a single oncology nursing unit and was implemented over a short period of time, the results should be carefully interpreted.