Pain Search Strategy and Results

Initial references prior to update: 34

Databases searched for update: PubMed, CINAHL, Cochrane Collaboration, and National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN)

Search results of literature retrieved 1/1/2009–9/24/2018:

  • PubMed
    • (pain[ti] AND cancer[ti]) OR ((pain[ti] OR pain[majr]) AND neoplasms[majr]) AND (("2009/01/01"[PDAT] : "2018/09/24"[PDAT]) AND "humans"[MeSH Terms] AND English[lang] AND cancer[sb])
    • 5,759 citations retrieved
    • (MH "Cancer Pain" OR (TI cancer AND TI pain)) OR ( MM pain AND (cancer OR neoplasms OR oncolog*)) 
    • Limiters: English Language; Clinical Queries: Therapy - High Sensitivity, Therapy - High Specificity, Therapy - Best Balance
    • 2,180 citations retrieved

898 titles were selected for a full article review.

503 final studies were included after the removal of duplicates and studies that did not meet inclusion criteria and the addition of manuscripts retrieved in other topics meeting pain-specific criteria.

Inclusion Criteria: 

  1. Full research report, systematic review, guideline, or meta-analysis
  2. Study must report results of measurement of pain, including acute, chronic, breakthrough or intractable pain 
  3. The study examines a pharmacologic or nonpharmacologic intervention aimed at affecting pain
  4. Study sample must include patients with cancer
  5. Include pediatric as well as adult studies
  6. Studies aimed at the treatment of pain (may include other symptoms) rather than the treatment of the cancer (added 8/2014).
  7. As of 1/1/2016, additional inclusions are (a) sample size of at least 40 or 20 per study group, and (b) for complex interventions, the description of the intervention must be sufficient to identify the components of that intervention.

Exclusion Criteria: 

  1. Grey literature
  2. Descriptive studies
  3. New studies involving the use of standard short-acting, sustained, or extended-release opioids will not be included as of 7/2013. Only studies involving new formulations or unusual uses of these medications will be included.
  4. Studies involving the examination of effects of different types of surgical anesthesia
  5. As of 8/2014, studies involving surgical procedures such as cordotomy or vertebroplasty as the primary intervention will not be included.