Pain management in patients receiving palliative care

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Release date: June 18, 2013

Expiration date: June 11, 2017

Estimated time to complete this activity: 1 hour

This activity is co-provided by the Nurse Practitioner Healthcare Foundation and Haymarket Media Inc.

Statement of need: Poorly managed pain produces negative physical effects in patients, including sodium and water retention, increased incidence of thromboembolic events, and impaired pulmonary status and immune system. Nurses need to know how to interpret common descriptors used for pain to accurately assess their patients' pain. In addition, nurses need to maintain an awareness of pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic interventions. This activity provides an overview of the mechanisms of action of pain, pain assessment, and effective interventions in palliative care.

Target audience: This activity has been designed to meet the educational needs of registered nurses and nurse practitioners involved in the management of patients with cancer.

Educational objectives:

• Understand the difference between somatic pain and visceral pain

• Assess patients' pain and interpret common pain descriptors used by patients

• Describe pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic interventions

Accreditation statement: This continuing nursing education activity is provided by the Nurse Practitioner Healthcare Foundation (NPHF).

NPHF is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation.

Designation statement: Free continuing nursing education credit of 0.75 is available. After reading the article, go to to register, take the posttest, and receive a certificate. A score of 80% is required to pass.

Disclosure of conflicts of interest: The Nurse Practitioner Healthcare Foundation (NPHF) assesses conflict of interest with its instructors, planners, reviewers, and other individuals who are in a position to control the content of CE activities. All relevant conflicts of interest that are identified are thoroughly vetted by NPHF for fair balance, scientific objectivity of studies utilized in this activity, and patient care recommendations. NPHF is committed to providing its learners with high quality CE activities and related materials that promote improvements or quality in health care.

The faculty: Barbara St. Marie, PhD, ANP-BC, GNP-BC, ACHPN, reported no financial relationships or relationships to products or devices they or their spouse/life partner have with commercial interests related to the content of this CE activity.

The planners, reviewers, and staff: Fiona J. Shannon, MHS, FNP; Phyllis Arn Zimmer, MN, FNP, FAAN; Joyce Pagan; Kristen Childress, DNP, ARNP; Connie Morrison-Hoogstede, MN, ANP, AOCNP, Genean M. Page, RN, OCN, reported no financial relationships or relationships to products or devices they or their spouse/life partner have with commercial interests related to the content of this CE activity.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the educational activity are those of the faculty and do not necessarily represent the views of or imply endorsement by Nurse Practitioner Healthcare Foundation, American Nurses Credentialing Center, or Haymarket Media Inc.

As this article contains only a review, participants have an implied responsibility to use this newly acquired information while also consulting other appropriate sources of information in order to gain full understanding of the topic.


HOW TO TAKE THE POST-TEST: To obtain CE credit, please click here after reading the article to take the post-test on

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