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Nurse-led telephone follow-up for early palliative care patients with advanced cancer

HumanInsight Nurse-led telephone follow-up for early palliative care patients with advanced cancer

J Clin Nurs. 2022 Jul 24. doi: 10.1111/jocn.16403. Online ahead of print.


AIM AND OBJECTIVES: To present our experience of a nursing telephone consultation service, describing patient and caregiver requests, and outlining ensuing nursing or medical interventions.

BACKGROUND: Recently, there has been an increase in the use of telephone consultation for cancer patients. However, there is still limited data on the characteristics of this type of service and on the nature of the interventions carried out.

DESIGN AND METHODS: In this observational retrospective study, we evaluated the phone calls made over a 6-month period by patients or caregivers to the early palliative care team of a cancer institute. Information regarding telephone calls (frequency, reason and management) was systematically collected by a nursing case manager. The study complies with the STROBE checklist File S1.

RESULTS: 171 patients used the service, for a total of 323 phone calls. The majority (80.8%) were from patients followed at the outpatient clinic and the most common requests were for pain management (38.4%) and for updates on the clinical situation (23.8%). Other frequent requests were for medication management (18.9%) and scheduling (18.3%). 210 of the 323 phone calls were handled by the nurse, while 22 were managed in collaboration with a physician. An 87.6% effectiveness in telephone management was observed.

CONCLUSION: The overall use of the phone service was higher for early palliative care patients. The majority of phone calls were effectively handled by the nursing case manager.

RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: An effective and feasible nurse-led telephone follow-up of early palliative care patients with advanced cancer could improve their care experience. Specifically, it could impact on patients and families improving quality of life and symptom control securing access to timely care without travel or additional cost.It can also improve continuity of care, adherence to oncological treatments and minimise acute care visits.

PMID:35871285 | DOI:10.1111/jocn.16403

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