Our clinical nursing articles aim to inform and educate nurse practitioners and students. This is achieved through the publication of peer-reviewed, evidence-based, relevant and topical articles.
Why you should read this article • To enhance your awareness of the unrecognised work involved in cancer care • To recognise the challenges that primary care and community staff commonly experience in diagnosing and caring for people with cancer • To understand the importance of recognising and recording hidden workload to improve cancer care delivery and coordination Background While the workload of primary care healthcare professionals in the UK is increasing, the precise nature of the work involved in caring for people with cancer has not been explicitly defined. Aim To explore the opinions of a small group of primary and community healthcare professionals in London, England about the workload involved in caring for people with cancer, as well as to identify elements of the role that are unrecorded. Method This evaluation used a mixed-methods approach that followed an exploratory sequential design to survey and interview primary and community care staff in London. Descriptive integration was used to merge the quantitative data from the questionnaires and the qualitative data from the interviews to enable comparison and analysis. Findings The questionnaire received 92 responses and seven interviews were completed. Interviews revealed that the recording systems of healthcare organisations did not effectively capture healthcare professionals’ cancer care workload. Participants reported the unpredictable nature of cancer care, with people often presenting with vague symptoms. Participants also reported the unrecognised but essential work that they often undertook, such as developing relationships with people with cancer and their families. Conclusion Healthcare professionals working in primary care identified that there are elements of the workload involved in cancer care that are hidden and unrecognised, such as developing relationships with people with cancer and their families. Effectively recording and recognising the hidden workload involved in caring for people with cancer has the potential to improve cancer care delivery and coordination.
Why you should read this article: • To enhance awareness of the importance of health promotion in addressing modifiable risk factors to prevent long-term conditions • To understand the role of nurses in providing health promotion in urgent treatment centre and primary care settings generally • To gain knowledge of the factors that may influence the effectiveness of brief health promotion interventions Background In Portsmouth, the prevalence of long-term conditions and presence of modifiable risk factors are often higher than in England as a whole. It has been identified that most adults presenting to an urgent treatment centre (UTC) in Portsmouth have one or more of the following risk factors: smoking, being overweight or obese, and alcohol overuse. Opportunistic health promotion may be beneficial in addressing these risk factors, but there has been little research on its use in UTCs. Aim To determine the efficacy and effectiveness of using an opportunistic brief health promotion intervention – including advice on smoking cessation, weight management and alcohol intervention as appropriate – with adult patients presenting to Portsmouth’s UTC. Method A total of 204 participants were recruited to a randomised controlled trial (RCT). Half of the participants (n=102) received the brief health promotion intervention at initial consultation within 20 minutes of their arrival at the UTC (Arm A). The other half of the participants (n=102) received the brief health promotion intervention at full consultation, between 20 minutes and four hours later (Arm B). The primary outcome measure was the number of referrals to the local well-being service for further support with behaviour change. The secondary outcome measures were the acceptability of the intervention and the time taken by the intervention. Results Participants were generally receptive to the brief health promotion intervention. Of the 204 participants, 64% (n=130) accepted the support provided at the UTC, which indicates that a brief health promotion intervention is acceptable to most patients presenting to the UTC. The same number of referrals to the local well-being service was made in Arm A and Arm B (n=11 in each, n=22 in total), indicating that the timing of the intervention did not affect participants’ decisions to accept or reject referral. Conclusion An opportunistic brief health promotion intervention with patients presenting to UTCs is feasible and potentially effective. Nurses practising in UTCs and primary care settings generally need to use every opportunity to engage patients in health promotion as part of their routine consultations. Adequate training, support and policies are required to assist nurses in integrating health promotion into their practice.
Health protection and primary care teams should work together to carry out a risk assessment
This article outlines the results of a survey of cancer training needs conducted with general practice nurses (GPNs) in South West London in 2018. The survey determined the nurses’ views about three areas of their work related to cancer: how they see their role in cancer care, their confidence in their cancer knowledge and their attitude towards cancer education. The survey was one of the early results of a Macmillan Cancer Support-funded, two-year project developing GPNs’ role in supporting patients living with and beyond cancer. It informed the development of an ‘education and influence strategy’ designed to embed in GPNs’ roles the management of cancer as a long-term condition. The authors recommend that undergraduate and postgraduate courses for primary care nurses should incorporate education about cancer as a long-term condition.
Strategies healthcare professionals can implement to improve the uptake of cervical screening
Prompt notification by clinicians and appropriate public health actions can prevent infection
How a small independent hospice developed an equalities steering committee for the community
Patients’ and nurse practitioners’ attitudes to brief health promotion
A reflection on an incident observed while commuting relating to the issue of data protection
This literature review identifies the challenges of delivering consistent palliative care
Despite the prevalent cultural stereotype that people’s sexual activity declines or ceases as they grow older, adults in the UK remain sexually active throughout later life. This review of the literature investigates the factors influencing older adults’ engagement with primary care sexual health services and makes recommendations about potential interventions.
A study of the process of diagnosing a patient and other factors