Patients undergoing radiotherapy (RT) for painful bone metastases achieved better pain control quicker if they also received nurse-led education (NLE) on pain, according to study results presented at the 2017 Palliative and Supportive Care in Oncology Symposium.

Although RT is an effective treatment for patients with painful bone metastases, patients do not always achieve adequate pain control. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect NLE would have among this patient population in controlling pain compared with care-as-usual (CAU).

For this phase 3 study, researchers randomly assigned 354 patients with uncontrolled pain 1:1 to receive NLE or CAU prior to starting RT. NLE comprised a structured interview assessing patient knowledge of pain, verbal and written education materials on pain, and follow-up calls at 1, 4, 8, and 12 weeks to address questions associated with pain. Patients receiving CAU only received leaflets on RT, opioid use, and cancer pain.

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At 12-week follow-up, approximately 52% of patients completed the study. Patients in the NLE arm reported achieving a pain score of less than 5 on the number rating scale compared with patients in CAU arm (66% vs 52%, respectively; P =.036).

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Patients in the NLE arm also reported reaching a pain score of less than 5 in 31 days vs 54 days for the patients in the CAU arm (P =.026).

The authors concluded that controlled pain was reached “faster and by more patients with painful bone metastases undergoing RT by the addition of nurse-led pain education.”


1. Geerling JI, Raijmakers N, Mul VEM, et al. The effect of nurse-led pain education of patients with painful bone metastases on pain and quality of life: A multicenter randomized trial. Poster presentation at: 2017 Palliative and Supportive Care in Oncology Symposium; October 27-28, 2017; San Diego, CA. Abstract 203.