Effectiveness of the World Health Organization cancer pain relief guidelines published by Dove Medical Press


The Journal of Pain Research has published the review “Effectiveness of the World Health Organization Cancer Pain Relief Guidelines: An Integrative Review”.

The WHO guidelines have been successful in making pain relief knowledge more available, but from a moral and ethical standpoint these guidelines need to be promoted and examined until adequate pain relief is reported in all possible cancer pain patients.

As corresponding author Dr Cathy Carlson says “The WHO guidelines and the 3-step ladder have been the cornerstone of cancer pain relief. The WHO guidelines encompass a clear and simple approach that has an educational value and is easily remembered and disseminated. Yet many health care providers have never heard of the 3-step ladder. From the findings of the studies evaluating the effectiveness of the WHO guidelines, it can be concluded that the guidelines are useful in promoting cancer pain relief. The clear message resonating from this review is that they are an effective and cost-effective means to provide cancer pain relief.”

Dr Carlson continues “While comparing the results of the recent studies describing the incidence and intensity of cancer pain, it can be assumed that the WHO guidelines have not been as widely adopted as would be expected since their initial release in 1986.”

As Dr Michael Schatman, Editor-in-Chief, explains “This outstanding review is noteworthy in that it finally elucidates the complexities associated with the much-needed update of pain management guidelines.”

The Journal of Pain Research is an international, peer-reviewed, open access, online journal that welcomes laboratory and clinical findings in the fields of pain research and the prevention and management of pain. Original research, reviews, symposium reports, hypothesis formation and commentaries are all considered for publication.

Dove Medical Press Ltd is a privately held company specializing in the publication of Open Access peer-reviewed journals across the broad spectrum of science, technology and especially medicine.

Updated 26 July 2016