Patients undergoing haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) are often hospitalised in protective isolation in order to reduce the risk of dangerous infection. However, they could experience isolation-related suffering, problems in relationships with others, and difficulties in relating to themselves. Oncology nurses might play an important role in mitigating perceived isolation and in providing emotional support. The aim of this study was to identify which factors can influence the level of emotional support from nurses perceived by patients with haematological malignancies undergoing HSCT in isolation.
A multicentre prospective study was conducted in 10 haematology centres of the Italian Group of stem cell transplant (GITMO). Emotional support from nurses was measured between day +7 and +9 post-transplant using the Scale Experiences on the Newcastle Satisfaction with Nurses Scale. Multiple linear regression analysis was performed.
The participants were 186 adult patients receiving autologous (48%) or allogeneic (52%) HSCT in protective isolation. They were mainly male (61.6%) with a mean age of 50.1 (SD = 13.4; range=19-71). The regression model explained 23% of the total variance (p < .001) (Table). Sex, pain level, double room, satisfaction with information received before HSCT, and patients to nurse ratio were independently associated with emotional support from nurses.Table: CN56
Regression model predicting perceived emotional support from nurses (n = 186)
|Sex (female)||.193||(.056; .332)||.006|
|Pain level||-.147||(-.287; -.007)||.040|
|First HSCT||.099||(-.038; .234)||.158|
|Double room||.242||(.098; .378)||.001|
|Satisfaction with info||.403||(.264; .547)||<.001|
|Patients to nurse||-.168||(-.316; -.027)||.021|
Patients who reported high emotional support from nurses were female, with low pain, satisfied with information received, and hospitalised in double room in a ward with a low patients to nurse ratio. It is crucial to reduce the patients to nurse ratio in order to promote the role of nurses in providing emotional support.
Clinical trial identification
Legal entity responsible for the study
Campus Bio-Medico di Roma University.
Has not received any funding.
All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.