A pivot nurse in oncology (PNO) plays a substantial role in the continuity of care, leading to significantly improved satisfaction and quality of life among patients with advanced lung cancer, according to a presentation at the 2018 European Lung Cancer Congress.

Although the treatment for lung cancer has improved and drastically prolonged survival, an unfortunate consequence is increased toxicity, complexity of treatment, and decreased quality of life. A potential strategy to improve outcomes was to incorporate PNOs into the medical team, but whether or not PNO care provides benefits compared with standard nursing care requires further exploration.

For this study, researchers enrolled 65 patients, of whom 82% were assigned to the continuity of care (CC) group where patients were followed by a PNO and 18% were assigned to the usual care (UC) group. All patients were instructed to complete the Princess Margaret Hospital Patient Satisfaction with Doctor Questionnaire (PMH/PSQ-MD) and the FACT-L scale to assess quality of life.

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Analysis of the PMH/PSQ-MD results showed that patients in the CC group had superior outcomes for information exchange, quality of life, and empathy. The FACT-L questionnaire also revealed that patients in the CC group had superior outcomes; scores for physical, emotional, functional, social, and family well-being were all significantly higher in the CC cohort vs the UC cohort.

The authors concluded “the PNO appears to have a substantial role in the care of patients with advanced lung cancer. Continuity of care seems to improve patients’ quality of life and satisfaction by reducing the symptom strain experienced in the ambulatory patients.”

Reference

Kassouf E, Tehfe M, Floresci M, Blais N. Impact of the continuity of nursing care delivered by a pivot nurse in oncology on improving satisfaction and quality of life of patients with advanced lung cancer. Presentation at: 2018 European Lung Cancer Congress; April 11-12, 2018; Geneva, Switzerland.