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CNE Article

Nonpharmacologic Pain Interventions: A Review of Evidence-Based Practices for Reducing Chronic Cancer Pain


Linda H. Eaton
Jeannine M. Brant
Karen McLeod
Chao Hsing Yeh
CJON 2017, 21(3), 54-79 DOI: 10.1188/17.CJON.S3.54-70

Background: Pain is a common issue for patients with cancer and can be challenging to manage effectively. Healthcare professionals need to be knowledgeable about evidence-based nonpharmacologic interventions.


Objectives: This systematic review critically appraises the strength and quality of the empirical evidence for nonpharmacologic interventions in reducing chronic cancer pain.


Methods: Intervention studies were critically appraised and summarized by an Oncology Nursing Society Putting Evidence Into Practice team of RNs, advanced practice nurses, and nurse scientists. A level of evidence and a practice recommendation was assigned to each intervention.


Findings: Based on evidence, recommended interventions to reduce chronic cancer pain are celiac plexus block for pain related to pancreatic and abdominal cancers and radiation therapy for bone pain. Although psychoeducational interventions are considered likely to be effective, the effective components of these interventions and their dose and duration need to be determined through additional research.

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