Baseline Assessment of Knowledge and Attitudes Regarding Pain of Nurses in a Comprehensive Cancer Center



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



Pain management outcomes for hospitalized patients are often inadequate. One explanation validated in the literature is inadequate pain management by nurses due to a lack of knowledge and their negative attitudes. The purpose of this study was to analyze data from oncology nurses in a large academic cancer center regarding their knowledge and attitudes about pain. United States hospitals are feeling the pressure associated with Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey scores on pain management due to its effect on Medicare/Medicaid facilities’ reimbursement. In this study, The Knowledge and Attitudes Survey Regarding Pain, developed by Ferrell and McCaffery (2012), plus 11 demographic items were used to survey a sample of 383 registered nurses involved in direct patient care. Archival data analysis included t-testing to compare scores between (inpatient and outpatient) nursing groups and Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) testing compared scores among more than two groups. The mean score for all participants calculated as a percentage correct answers for all questions, was 68.38% which is below the passing score of 70%. Scores differed significantly based on the nurse’ age, current position, location of education, and certification status. The results concur with the findings in the literature and support the idea that this facility’s nurses need further education about pain and its management. This is the critical first step of designing an effective customized program for this facility that will allow nurses to provide optimal pain management for cancer patients.



Pain knowledge, Pain attitude, Pain management, Cancer pain