Purpose/Objectives: To identify knowledge strengths and weaknesses and misperceptlons about cancer pain management between two groups of registered nurses in different settings.
Design: Descriptive, comparative survey.
Setting: 11 community-based hospices and 7 Inpatient hospital oncology units within an urban county.
Sample: A convenience sample of 30 hospice and 34 hospital oncology unit nurses. Sample criteria included registered nurses who had worked for at least the preceding six months exclusively in either a hospice or hospital oncology unit.
Methods: The North Carolina Cancer Pain Initiative survey and a demographic survey were distributed to the work mailboxes of nurses in the participating facilities who met the inclusion criteria.
Main Research Variables: Hospice and hospital oncology unit nurses' knowledge and attitudes about basic phormacologlc cancer pain management.
Findings: Hospice nurses scored significantly higher than hospital oncology unit nurses regarding overall pain management knowledge, opioids. scheduling. and liberalness. Hospice nurses also reported more pain education and a higher frequency of pain guideline review requirements than hospital oncology unit nurses.
Conclusions: The most prevalent knowledge deficits concerned opioids. Practice setting and pain education may influence knowledge, as well as attitudes, about pain.
Implications for Nursing Practice: Further research Is needed regarding nurses' pain management behavior and outcomes of pain management education in various settings.