According to the Swedish National Cancer Plan, every cancer patient is entitled to supportive care strategies such as a contact nurse (CN) and a written care plan (IWCP). The National Cancer Plan also highlights the importance of patient’s right to actively participate in care planning and decision-making regarding their care. A new cancer nursing role, coordinating contact nurses (CCN)s, was initiated in the Stockholm-Gotland region, Sweden 2015. The CCNs, with an overarching leading role in the cancer process, work on a regional level with co-operation between different care-givers aiming to reduce inadequate continuity and fragmentation in cancer care and improve person-centered care. The CCNs are also supposed to support CNs with implementation of IWCPs and routines for safe handover procedures where the patient actively is involved in the process. We have evaluated the impact of CCNs from a patient perspective with baseline and follow-up data. The aim was to evaluate the usefulness of the new role from the patients’ perspective.
Data was collected through a project-specific questionnaire (including questions on information exchange, continuity, patient involvement, collaboration and communication) from patients diagnosed in 2014 (n = 869), before the implementation of the CNN role, and follow-up data from patients diagnosed in 2016 (n = 1003).
Patients report significantly higher access to CN (2014 53%, 2016 66%, p = <0.0001) and IWCP (2014 40%, 2016 54%, p = 0.0001) after the introduction of the CCN role. Patients also report higher satisfaction with their involvement on decisions in care (2014 29%, 2016 34%, p = 0.042).
Experiences so far are that the CCNs have a unique opportunity to impact and improve cancer care which has been difficult previously for the clinical staff.
Clinical trial identification
Legal entity responsible for the study
Bodil Westman, Regional Cancer Centre, Stockholm Gotland.
Has not received any funding.
All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.