Journal of Professional Nursing

Pain Management in the Terminally Ill Cancer Patient 

Kate Reid, RGON, Dip.Onc.Nsg. (London), Burwood Hospice Christchurch 

Reference:  Reid, K. (1988). Pain Management in the Terminally Ill Cancer Patient. Nursing Praxis in New Zealand, 4(1), 13-15.


There are many people with a year or less to live who have been greatly hindered from doing what they wanted by unrelieved pain.  For some patients the fear of pain is a more frightening prospect than death itself.  To achieve the goal of pain management we must utilise skills and knowledge to assess the needs of each patient individually, to plan nursing care to meet those needs and to evaluate the effectiveness of action so that new approaches, when necessary, can be implemented.  This paper will present a general overview of total pain management in the terminally ill patient, addressing the physical, mental, social, emotional and spiritual components.  Unless all these are considered, the likelihood of successful pain control is limited.

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