Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

VA Health Systems Research

Go to the VA ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR&D Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

Cross Disciplinary Role Agreement is Needed When Coordinating Long-Term Opioid Prescribing for Cancer: a Qualitative Study.

Giannitrapani KF, Silveira MJ, Azarfar A, Glassman PA, Singer SJ, Asch SM, Midboe AM, Zenoni MA, Gamboa RC, Becker WC, Lorenz KA. Cross Disciplinary Role Agreement is Needed When Coordinating Long-Term Opioid Prescribing for Cancer: a Qualitative Study. Journal of general internal medicine. 2021 Jul 1; 36(7):1867-1874.

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions


BACKGROUND: Cancer pain is highly prevalent and often managed in primary care or by oncology providers in combination with primary care providers. OBJECTIVES: To understand interdisciplinary provider experiences coordinating opioid pain management for patients with chronic cancer-related pain in a large integrated healthcare system. DESIGN: Qualitative research. PARTICIPANTS: We conducted 20 semi-structured interviews with interdisciplinary providers in two large academically affiliated VA Medical Centers and their associated community-based outpatient clinics. Participants included primary care providers (PCPs) and oncology-based personnel (OBPs). APPROACH: We deductively identified 94 examples of care coordination for cancer pain in the 20 interviews. We secondarily used an inductive open coding approach and identified themes through constant comparison coming to research team consensus. RESULTS: Theme 1: PCPs and OBPs generally believed one provider should handle all opioid prescribing for a specific patient, but did not always agree on who that prescriber should be in the context of cancer pain. Theme 2: There are special circumstances where having multiple prescribers is appropriate (e.g., a pain crisis). Theme 3: A collaborative process to opioid cancer pain management would include real-time communication and negotiation between PCPs and oncology around who will handle opioid prescribing. Theme 4: Providers identified multiple barriers in coordinating cancer pain management across disciplines. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings highlight how real-time negotiation about roles in opioid pain management is needed between interdisciplinary clinicians. Lack of cross-disciplinary role agreement may result in delays in clinically appropriate cancer pain management.

Questions about the HSR website? Email the Web Team

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.