Assessment of Quality of Life in Cancer Patients with Chronic Pain: An Analysis of Quality of Life Instruments for Clinical Practice
Vulcan, Megan E.
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The desire of cancer patients to be pain free while maintaining or improving their overall quality of life is frequently reported in the literature. Nurse practitioners managing cancer patients with chronic pain need to routinely assess pain and quality of life in order to achieve a holistic perspective and treatment plan. Numerous quality of life scales have been developed for a variety of purposes, each with specific strengths and weaknesses. This article will provide an overview of the relationship between pain and quality of life, aspects of cancer-related pain and an evaluation of the quality of life instruments available to use. Upon review of the most current instruments, the Ferrans QOL scale appears to be most suitable for cancer patients with chronic pain. The Ferrans QOL tool has a statistical reliability of 0.93. Ultimately, the routine assessment of quality of life for cancer patients with pain is a reasonable goal for advanced nursing practice.