Physician acquisition of cancer pain management knowledge

Thomas E. Elliott, Barbara A. Elliott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Insufficient physician education in cancer pain management (CPM) is one of the major factors contributing to inadequate pain relief of cancer patients throughout the world. A survey of all physicians in direct patient care in Duluth, MN, (N = 243) was conducted to determine where they learned about CPM and how they would like to further their knowledge. Responses from 150 physicians (62%) have been analyzed, especially focusing on physician age and specialty. Statistically significant differences (p < 0.001) document that residency training programs have been including CPM in their curricula since 1978 and that medical schools have not. Additional significant sources of CPM have been consultations with expert physicians, conferences and the literature. When asked how they would like to learn more about CPM, 84% of all physicians indicated that local conferences would be most effective. Physicians in various specialties indicated their differing preferences, too. This study suggests that improvements in CPM can occur through these mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)224-229
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Pain and Symptom Management
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 1991

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2018 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Cancer pain
  • chronic pain
  • continuing medical education
  • physician education


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