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Title: Is seeing a specialist nurse associated with positive experiences of care? The role and value of specialist nurses in prostate cancer care.
Authors: Tarrant, Carolyn Clare
Sinfield, Paul
Agarwal, Shona
Baker, Richard
First Published: 27-Mar-2008
Publisher: BioMed Central Ltd
Citation: BMC Health Services Research, 2008, 8:65
Abstract: Background: Specialist nurses may play an important role in helping to improve the experiences of patients with prostate cancer, however there is concern that the specialist nurse role is under threat in the UK due to financial pressures in the NHS. This study explored the role and value of specialist nurses in prostate cancer care via a survey and patient interviews. Methods: This paper reports findings from two studies. A survey of patients from three hospitals across the UK (289/481, 60%), investigated whether patients who saw a specialist nurse had different experiences of information provision and involvement in decision-making, to those who did not. Qualitative interviews were also carried out with 35 men recently tested or treated for prostate cancer, recruited from two hospitals in the UK. Interviews explored patients' views on the role and value of the specialist nurse. Results: Survey findings indicated that patients who saw a specialist nurse had more positive experiences of receiving written information about tests and treatment, and about sources of advice and support, and were more likely to say they made the treatment decision themselves. In interviews, patients described specialist nurse input in their care in terms of providing information and support immediately post-diagnosis, as well as being involved in ongoing care. Two key aspects of the specialist nurse role were seen as unique: their availability to the patient, and their ability to liaise between the patient and the medical system. Conclusion: This study indicates the unique role that specialist nurses play in the experience of patients with prostate cancer, and highlights the importance of maintaining specialist nurse roles in prostate cancer care.
DOI Link: 10.1186/1472-6963-8-65
ISSN: 1472-6963
Version: Publisher Version
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Article
Rights: Copyright © 2008 Tarrant et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Health Sciences

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