Pain intensity, quality of life, quality of palliative care, and satisfaction in outpatients with metastatic or recurrent cancer: A Japanese, nationwide, region-based, multicenter survey

Akemi Yamagishi, Tatsuya Morita, Mitsunori Miyashita, Ayumi Igarashi, Miki Akiyama, Nobuya Akizuki, Yutaka Shirahige, Kenji Eguchi

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Context: Increasing numbers of patients with advanced cancer are receiving anticancer and/or palliative treatment in outpatient settings, and palliative care for outpatients with advanced cancer is being recognized as one of the most important areas for comprehensive cancer treatment. Objectives: The aim of this study was to evaluate pain intensity, quality of life, quality of palliative care, and satisfaction reported by outpatients with advanced cancer. Methods: Questionnaires were sent to 1493 consecutive outpatients with metastatic or recurrent cancer from four regions in Japan; 859 responses were analyzed (58%). Questionnaires included the Brief Pain Inventory, Good Death Inventory, Care Evaluation Scale, and a six-point satisfaction scale. Results: Approximately 20% of the patients reported moderate to severe pain. Whereas more than 70% agreed or strongly agreed with "good relationship with medical staff" and "being respected as an individual," less than 60% agreed or strongly agreed with "free from physical distress," "free from emotional distress," "maintaining hope," and "fulfillment at life's completion"; 54% reported some agreement with "feel a burden to others." About 20% reported that improvement is necessary in physical care by physicians, physical care by nurses, psycho-existential care, help with decision making, and coordination/consistency of care; 13% reported some levels of dissatisfaction. Conclusion: A considerable number of outpatients with metastatic or recurrent cancer experienced pain, physical symptoms, emotional distress, and existential suffering, and advocated improvements in palliative care across multiple areas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)503-514
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Pain and Symptom Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Mar



  • Pain
  • advanced cancer
  • outpatient
  • quality of care
  • quality of life
  • satisfaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

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