Navigation Links
Specialist nurses can play a key role in supporting patients having radiotherapy
Date:6/9/2008

Cancer patients who attended a specialist nurse clinic rather than a consultant-led clinic for regular radiotherapy reviews benefited from longer, more frequent consultations and good symptom management, according to a paper in the June issue of the Journal of Clinical Nursing.

And because the clinical nurse specialist was able to carry out 83 per cent of the consultations without referring issues to the consultant, patients also avoided the need to see their doctor on a routine basis.

Researchers from the University of Dundee and the City's Ninewells Hospital also found that the patients who were undergoing treatment for head and neck cancer were more likely to be referred to members of the multi-disciplinary team. This resulted in better management of common radiotherapy side effects, like oral and nutritional problems.

When researchers compared the 23 patients attending the nurse specialist-led clinics with the 20 who had attended consultant-led clinics in the previous six months, they found that the patients reported few significant differences in quality of life. Their comments also showed that they particularly valued the relationship they had built up with the clinical nurse specialist.

Feedback from the family doctors who took part in the study was also good. They were positive about the timing and content of the information they received from the clinical nurse specialist about their patients' ongoing treatment.

"Our study showed that clinical nurse specialists can play a key role in the management of head and neck cancer patients having radiotherapy and this may take the pressure off busy consultants, with no reduction in the quality of care provided" says lead author Dr Mary Wells, a Lecturer and Clinical Research Fellow in Cancer Nursing from the University.

"As a result of our research, the majority of radiotherapy review clinics at Ninewells Hospital are now conducted by a clinical nurse specialist. But greater investment is needed to develop specialist nursing roles if initiatives like this are to be replicated elsewhere in the UK."

Key findings of the study included:

  • Nurses were able to spend 16 minutes on each consultation - four times as long as the consultants - and patients had shorter waits to see them (two minutes versus nine).

  • Overall quality of life scores were similar in both groups, but patients in the consultant-led clinic group reported slightly higher emotional functioning.

  • Baseline pain scores were higher in the nurse-led group but rose less sharply than in the medical group.

  • Patients in the nurse-led group had better scores for social eating, social contact, dry mouth, sticky saliva, teeth problems and weight loss.

  • Patients in the medical group were more likely to have lost weight and less likely to have gained weight, despite receiving more nutritional supplements.

"Our study demonstrates that clinical nurse specialists in radiotherapy can effectively lead on-treatment reviews for patients using a protocol-based approach and that patients and family doctors appreciate the support, information and communication provided by nurse-led clinics" says Dr Wells.

"The findings suggest that when nurses work as part of a supportive multi-disciplinary team they can manage the majority of these routine consultations without direct input from the consultant, even in this highly symptomatic and complex group."

The study has led to direct changes in the way neck and head cancer patients are managed at Ninewells Hospital and the majority of the radiotherapy review clinics are now conducted by a clinical nurse specialist with specific training and expertise in radiotherapy care.

"The clinical nurse specialist is now able to prescribe a wider range of medication and is responsible for coordinating complex treatment regimes and supporting patients with complex symptoms" says Dr Wells.

"We also believe there is considerable potential to develop the assessment and care of patients with head and neck cancer before and after treatment as well as during radiotherapy.

"Clinical nurse specialists are ideally placed to provide information and advice on issues like health education, smoking cessation and alcohol consumption, to help reduce the impact of the patient's symptoms and improve their quality of life.

"They could also provide support, community liaison and symptom management immediately after treatment when patients are no longer in day-to-day contact with the hospital but the side effects continue to affect their daily life."

However the researchers point out that the potential to develop nurse-led radiotherapy clinics across the UK is hampered by a lack of investment in radiotherapy nursing.

"Nurses working in radiotherapy are relatively few and far between, postholders often work in isolation and their contribution has not been sufficiently acknowledged" says Dr Wells.

"We hope that our study, and the service developments it has inspired, will stimulate a debate about the valuable role that nurses can play in supporting cancer patients undergoing radiotherapy.

"We also hope that it will highlight the need for greater investment in this valuable speciality."


'/>"/>

Contact: Annette Whibley
wizard.media@virgin.net
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Jefferson specialists studying innovative surgery for effectively treating sleep apnea
2. Physician Skin Care Specialist Says Proposed New Rules for Sunscreen Products Will Better Protect the Public
3. Medco Unveils Three New Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Options for 2008 to Provide Seniors More Choice, Better Value and Specialist Pharmacists
4. RESolutions Rapid Enrollment Solutions, LLC Mobilizes Team of Regional Recruitment Specialists(TM)
5. The Cardiovascular Multimedia Network (CVMD) and the International Society of Endovascular Specialists (ISES) Join Forces to Educate Practitioners Worldwide Through Electronic Media
6. L.A. Author, TV Personality and Substance Abuse Specialist Discusses Struggle to Break Bad-girl Syndrome Oct. 26-28 in Baltimore
7. IPS Secures National Contract to Deliver FOCUS Healthcare Provider Network Access to Pain Management Specialists
8. Training Medical Warriors: Tropical Medicine Specialists Who Ward Off Bioterrorist and Global Health Threats Pass the Torch to the Next Generation
9. Northern Fertility & Reproductive Associates Adds Two Local Infertility Specialists to Staff, Opens New Offices In Center City And Blue Bell
10. Georgia Cancer Specialists to Sponsor Sixth Annual Totes 2 Tots Suitcase Drive for Foster Children
11. Cleveland Clinic Recruits World Renowned Heart Rhythm Specialist to Direct Electrophysiology
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/27/2017)... ... February 27, 2017 , ... Much attention has been paid to the problem ... on opioid painkillers has fallen short. From 1999 until 2010, fatal overdoses from prescription ... fatal overdoses in male populations.(1) , The proportion of women using illicit drugs is ...
(Date:2/27/2017)... ... 27, 2017 , ... Elisa Guajardo Carothers is not your typical author. She went from working ... nun. Now, she writes about God, when she isn’t swimming as a performing mermaid. , ... is BS! (Before Satan),” she offers a comedic look at the dysfunctions of God’s family, ...
(Date:2/27/2017)... Yorba Linda, Ca (PRWEB) , ... February 27, ... ... Coulter Life Sciences, provides an overview on laser diffraction analysis as a tool ... highlighting its capabilities, significance and potential to obtain improved results and novel scientific ...
(Date:2/27/2017)... POUGHKEEPSIE, N. Y. (PRWEB) , ... February 27, 2017 , ... ... Society ( ILADS ) has disclosed that despite scientific studies, the Center for Disease ... of chronic Lyme disease . Kenneth B. Liegner, M.D. has compiled into ...
(Date:2/27/2017)... , ... February 27, 2017 , ... ... and alcohol treatment programs in British Columbia, Canada, at https://www.sunshinecoasthealthcentre.ca/ , is ... team. The new hire, Mackenzie Alsager, showcases the Centre's commitment to innovation in ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/28/2017)... Inc. (Nasdaq: IONS ) today reported that ... pro forma operating income of $25.8 million and $665.2 ... Company also reported a GAAP loss from operations of ... significant accomplishments for Ionis, culminating in the U.S. approval ... broad label. The approval of SPINRAZA is a testament ...
(Date:2/28/2017)... ... Research and Markets has announced the addition of ... report to their offering. The global active pharmaceutical ... 239.8 billion by 2025. The rising prevalence of lifestyle-induced & age-related ... forecast period. Advancements in recombinant molecular technologies and high capitalization for ...
(Date:2/28/2017)... SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. , Feb. 28, 2017 ... today announced that it will report its fourth ... close on Tuesday, March 7, 2017.  Rigel senior ... conference call and webcast at 5:00pm Eastern Time ... Participants can access the live conference ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: