Introduction and aims. There are many barriers and obstacles that even today lead to
an inadequate treatment of cancer-related pain. The aim is to describe the experiences of
a group of Italian physicians and nurses as far as the nature of these barriers is concerned
and the possible tools to be used to overcome them.
Material and method. We run 5 focus groups with 42 healthcare professionals (11 physicians,
31 nurses) working in 5 hospitals in Italy. The findings of the focus groups were
analysed according to the “Content Analysis” method.
Results. Five main items emerged: the importance of communication, the need for education
regarding pain therapy, the ethnic/cultural/religious differences, the mutual trust
and support within the working group, the daily challenges.
Conclusion. In harmony with the most recent literature, physicians and nurses voice
above all their need for an education more directly aimed at overcoming the prevailing
barriers rooted in ignorance, prejudice and fears.