Implementation of a nurse-led self-management support intervention for patients with cancer-related pain: A cluster randomized phase-IV study with a stepped wedge design (EvANtiPain)

Silvia Raphaelis, Florian Frommlet, Hanna Mayer, Antje Koller*, Antje Koller*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal article (peer-reviewed)Journal article

4 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Pain self-management support interventions were effective in controlled clinical trials and meta analyses. However, implementation of these complex interventions may not translate into identical effects. This paper evaluates the implementation of ANtiPain, a cancer pain self-management support intervention in routine clinical practice according to the Reach Efficacy-Adoption Implementation Maintenance framework. Methods: In this cluster randomized study with a stepped wedge design, N = 153 adult patients with cancer-related pain were recruited from 01/17 to 05/18 on 17 wards of 3 hospitals in Vienna, Austria. ANtiPain entailed a face-to-face in-hospital session by a trained nurse to prepare discharge according to key strategies, information on pain self-management, and skills building. After discharge, cancer-pain self-management was coached via phone calls. Patient-level data were collected at recruitment, and 2, 4 and 8 weeks after discharge via postal or online questionnaire. Primary outcome was pain interference with daily activities. Secondary outcomes included pain intensity, self-efficacy, and patient satisfaction. Organizational-level data (e.g., on implementation procedures) were collected by study or intervention nurses. The mixed model to analyze patient-level data included a random intercept and a random slope for individual and a random intercept for ward. Results: Recruitment was slower than expected and unevenly distributed over wards and hospitals. The face-to-face session was clinically feasible (mean duration = 33 min) as well as the mean amount (n = 2) and duration of phone calls (mean = 17 min). Only 16 (46%) of 35 trained nurses performed the intervention on nine wards. To deal with the loss of power, analyses were adapted. Overall effects on pain interference were not significant. However, effects were significant in sub analyses of the nine wards that recruited patients in the intervention period (p =.009). Regarding secondary outcomes, the group-by-time effect was significant for self-efficacy (p =.033), and patient satisfaction with information on pain-self-management (p =.002) and in-hospital pain management (p =.018). Conclusions: The implementation of ANtiPain improved meaningful patient outcomes on wards that applied the intervention routinely. Our analyses showed that the implementation benefited from being embedded in larger scale projects to improve cancer pain management and that the selection of wards with a high percentage of oncology patients may be crucial. Trial registration: Identifier: NCT02891785 Date of registration: September 8, 2016.

Original languageEnglish
Article number559
JournalBMC Cancer
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jun 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Neoplasms
  • Oncology nursing
  • Pain
  • Patient education as topic
  • Randomized controlled trials
  • Self-management
  • Health Plan Implementation
  • Self-Management/methods
  • Pain Management/methods
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Education as Topic/methods
  • Patient Discharge
  • Male
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Practice Patterns, Nurses'/organization & administration
  • Austria
  • Cancer Pain/diagnosis
  • Female
  • Aged
  • Pain Measurement/statistics & numerical data
  • Program Evaluation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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