Challenging situations when administering palliative chemotherapy: a nursing perspective
2014 (English)In: European Journal of Oncology Nursing, ISSN 1462-3889, E-ISSN 1532-2122, Vol. 18, no 6, 591-597 p.Article in journal (Other academic) Published
Palliative chemotherapy treatments (PCT) are becoming more common for patients with incurable cancer; a basic challenge is to optimize tumour response while minimizing side-effects and harm. As registered nurses most often administer PCT, they are most likely to be confronted with difficult situations during PCT administration. This study explores challenging situations experienced by nurses when administering PCT to patients with incurable cancer.
Methods: Registered nurses experienced in administering PCT were asked in interviews to recall PCT situations they found challenging. Inspired by the narrative tradition, stories were elicited and analysed using a structural and thematic narrative analysis.
Results: A total of twenty-eight stories were narrated by seventeen nurses. Twenty of these were dilemmas that could be sorted into three storylines containing one to three dilemmatic situations each. The six dilemmatic situations broadly related to three interwoven areas: the uncertainty of the outcome when giving potent drugs to vulnerable patients; the difficulty of resisting giving PCT to patients who want it; and insufficient communication between nurses and physician.
Conclusion: Nurses who administer PCT are engaged in a complex task that can give rise to a number of dilemmatic situations. The findings may be interpreted as meaning that at least some situations might be preventable if the knowledge and insight of all team members – nurses, physicians, patients, and relatives – are jointly communicated and taken into account when deciding whether or not to give PCT. Forming palliative care teams early in the PCT trajectory, could be beneficial for staff and patients.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2014. Vol. 18, no 6, 591-597 p.
communication barriers, dilemma, narrative, registered nurse, palliative chemotherapy, patient care team
Nursing Cancer and Oncology
Research subject Oncology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-87307DOI: 10.1016/j.ejon.2014.06.008ISI: 000346222800008OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-87307DiVA: diva2:708779
Included in theses in manuscript form with the title: "Dilemmas administering palliative chemotherapy : a nursing perspective"2014-03-282014-03-282015-01-13Bibliographically approved