Why this paper?

Pain is a common symptom in patients who survive cancer and in those who live with progressive advanced disease. Evidence from meta‐analyses suggests that pain remains poorly controlled for a large proportion of patients; barriers to good management include poor assessment of pain, inadequate support for patient self‐management and late or inadequate access to strong opioid analgesia in those with advanced disease.

How was it developed?

The European Pain Federation (EFIC) established a Task Force in 2017 which convened a European group of experts, drawn from a diverse range of relevant clinical disciplines, to prepare a position paper on appropriate standards for the management of cancer‐related pain. The expert panel reviewed the available literature and made recommendations using the GRADE system to combine quality of evidence with strength of recommendation. The panel took into account the desirable and undesirable effects of the management recommendation, including the cost and inconvenience of each when deciding the recommendation.

The 10 standards presented are aimed to improve cancer pain management and reduce variation in practice across Europe. The Task Force believes that adoption of these standards by all 37 countries will promote the quality of care of patients with cancer‐related pain and reduce unnecessary suffering.

What do we want to achieve?

Pain affects up to 40% of cancer survivors and affects at least 66% of patients with advanced progressive disease, many of whom experience poor pain control. These 10 standards are aimed to improve cancer pain management, promote the quality of care of patients and reduce variation across Europe.

You can find the paper here