Barriers to Effective Pain Management in Hospice

Despite significant accomplishments in hospice care, many patients continue to experience substantial pain and discomfort in their final days of life. A number of key barriers to effective pain management in hospice have been identified that are psychosocial in nature, including erroneous beliefs about addiction and tolerance, reluctance to report pain for fear of being perceived as weak or drug-seeking, and lack of communication between patients, family caregivers, and providers. To help minimize the prevalence of discomfort during life threatening illness and improve administration of and adherence to pain treatments, researchers have called for systematic strategies to understand and address the concerns of patients and their family caregivers related to pain management. This study will collect related data for a larger project that will examine the efficacy and effectiveness of an intervention to affect barriers to effective pain management in hospice.

Principal Investigator: Sheryl Zimmerman, Ph.D.

Funding: AHRQ

Total Project Period: 03/01/2011 – 03/30/2013