Table 2

Characteristics of studies included in the review

Lead authorYearCountryDescription of sampleStudy designNumber of family carers at baseline in
InterventionControl (UC or APC)
Ferrell1995USAFamily carers of hospital outpatients aged 60+ years with cancer-related pain duration ≥3 months; prescribed opioid analgesiaSGPP50
Wells2003USAFamily carers of hospital outpatients with cancer pain of onset or escalation in last 3 months; managed by analgesia; life expectancy >6 monthsSGPP then 3-arm RCT of follow-up
a. Patient-initiated
b. Nurse-initiated
a. 21
b. 19
−24 (UC)
Keefe2005USAFamily carers of hospice and hospital outpatients with advanced cancer diagnosis; disease-related pain (worst >3 BPI); life expectancy <6 months2-arm RCT4137 (UC)
Lin2006TaiwanFamily carers of hospital outpatients with cancer pain taking oral analgesics2-arm RCT3130 (UC)
Ward2009USAFamily carers of hospital outpatients with cancer diagnosis, reporting moderate to severe pain in past 2 weeks; performance status score indicating out of bed >50% of waking hours3-arm RCT
a. Dyad
b. Patient only
a. 51
b. 53
57 (UC)
Capewell2010UKFamily carers of patients receiving palliative care from hospital outpatient clinics or community teams; living at home; pain from active cancer rated ≥3 on 0–10 scaleSGPP10
Vallerand2010USAFamily carers of patients with cancer pain receiving care from home care nurses (not hospice nurses)Cluster RCT2422 (UC)
Valeberg2013NorwayFamily carers of hospital outpatients with cancer diagnosis and radiographic evidence of bone metastasis; pain ≥2.5 on 1–10 scale; KPS ≥502-arm RCT5854 (APC+ booklet)
  • Study design: RCT, randomised controlled trial; SGPP, single group pretest and post-test design.

  • Control: APC, attention placebo control; UC, usual care.

  • BPI, Brief Pain Inventory.