Influence of patient coaching on analgesic treatment adjustment: Secondary analysis of a randomized controlled trial

Richard L Kravitz, Daniel J Tancredi, Anthony F Jerant, Naomi Saito, Richard L. Street, Tim Grennan, Peter Franks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Context: For patients with cancer-related pain and their physicians, routine oncology visits are an opportunity to adjust the analgesic regimen and secure better pain control. However, treatment intensification occurs haphazardly in practice. Objectives: To estimate the effect of patient-centered tailored education and coaching (TEC) on the likelihood of analgesic treatment adjustment during oncology visits, and in turn, the influence of treatment adjustment on subsequent cancer pain control, we studied patients enrolled in a randomized trial of TEC. Methods: Just before a scheduled oncology visit, 258 patients with at least moderate baseline pain received TEC or control; just after the same visit, they reported on whether the physician recommended a new pain medicine or a change in dose of an existing medicine. Pain severity and pain-related impairment were measured two, six, and 12 weeks later. Results: Patients assigned to TEC were more likely than controls to report a change in the analgesic treatment regimen (60% vs. 36%, P < 0.01); significant effects persisted after adjustment for baseline pain, study site, and physician (adjusted odds ratio 2.61, 95% confidence interval 1.55, 4.40, P < 0.01). In a mixed-effects repeated measures regression, analgesic change (but not TEC itself) was associated with a sustained decrease in pain severity (P < 0.05). Conclusion: TEC increases the likelihood of self-reported, physician-directed adjustments in analgesic prescribing, and treatment intensification is associated with better cancer pain outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)874-884
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Pain and Symptom Management
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2012


  • analgesia
  • Cancer pain
  • pain management
  • palliative care
  • patient education
  • quality of care
  • therapeutic inertia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Nursing(all)


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