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Motives that head and neck cancer patients have for contacting a specialist nurse – an empirical study
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences.
Uppsala Universitet, Department of Surgical Sciences - Otolaryngology and Head & Neck Surgery.
2016 (English)In: Journal of Clinical Nursing, ISSN 0962-1067, E-ISSN 1365-2702Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

Aims and objectives. The purpose of this study is to systematically explore the motives for patients with head and neck cancer to contact a speciaist nurse during two years postdiagnosis.

Background. Research focusing on the role of specialist nurses in cancer care almost exclusively concern cancers other than head and neck cancer

Design. Qualitative, descriptive study based on the contacts between patients with head and neck cancer and a specialist nurse.

Methods. Patients were invited to contact a specialist nurse by telephone. The specialist nurse took systematic field notes, that is, she registered who contacted her, the nature of the call and the outcome. Sixty patients were included.

Results. In descending order, the motives for contact were questions about practical and uncomplicated matters, consultations about medical troubles/worries, presenting a report of the patient's situation, requests for additional information about the treatment plan and requests for medical information. The pattern of the patients' motivations for calling was not related to medical or social factors, suggesting that the initiative to make a contact is very much a question of the complexity of individual life circumstances. Very few referrals were sent from the specialist nurse to other professionals.

Conclusions. The specialist nurse turned out to be more than just a coordinator of health-care resources. The findings bring up questions about the potential of the nurse's function as a coordinator, but also as a potential attachment figure, and questions about the nurse's relationships to other professionals.

Relevance to clinical practice. When implementing a specialist nurse function, it is important to decide whether the function should be inspired by a broader relational perspectice. In addition to the indispensible competence and experience in the clinical field of head and neck cancer, training in counselling and acquaintance with object-relational psychology will then be desirable.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
field notes, head and neck cancer, nursing intervention, qualitative study, specialist nurse
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
omvårdnadsforskning med samhällsvetenskaplig inriktning
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-117429DOI: 10.1111/jocn.13283OAI: diva2:907506

Acknowledgement of funding: This study was supported by grants from the Swedish Cancer Society, the Swedish Laryng Foundation and the Cancer Research Foundation in Northern Sweden.

Available from: 2016-02-29 Created: 2016-02-29 Last updated: 2016-06-16

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Salander, PärIsaksson, JoakimGranström, BrithLaurell, Göran
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