Self-Efficacy Survey Study of Pain Self-Management in Patients with Cancer

Alice Anderson, Angela Starkweather, Xiaomei Cong, Kyounghae Kim, Dena Schulman-Green, Michelle Judge, Wanli Xu, Yiming Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Cancer pain prevalence remains high, and variance in self-efficacy for managing pain may explain why some patients experience greater pain severity. Aim: This study explored perceptions of self-efficacy in relation to cancer pain severity and treatment related characteristics. Method: A descriptive cross-sectional survey was administered to 50 cancer outpatients. Data analysis involved descriptive and correlational statistical analyses. Results: Self-efficacy to manage pain was significantly associated with time since diagnosis and ability to deal with frustration, and inversely associated with pain severity level. A large proportion of patients reported low satisfaction self-managing their pain. Most patients reported independently self-managing their cancer pain; however, satisfaction with pain management was low for a large proportion of patients. Time since cancer diagnosis and ability to deal with frustration due to cancer pain were positively associated with cancer pain self-efficacy, whereas pain self-efficacy had a significant inverse correlation with cancer pain severity. Conclusions: Enhancing self-efficacy to self-manage under-treated cancer pain is important with implications for improving pain outcomes and quality of life. Further investigation on unmet needs and preferences for cancer pain self-management support is warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)486-493
Number of pages8
JournalPain Management Nursing
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


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