Send to

Choose Destination
Curr Opin Oncol. 2009 May;21(3):248-53. doi: 10.1097/CCO.0b013e328329b819.

The influence of nursing in head and neck cancer management.

Author information

School of Nursing, Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and Abramson Cancer Center, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104-4217, USA.



Nurses can play an essential role in the treatment of head and neck cancer and the care of patients and their families. The role and influence of nursing is dependent on available evidence to fulfill that role and on the sociopolitical and organizational factors that shape the context for nursing and interdisciplinary practice.


Nurses influence treatment for head and neck cancer through symptom management and tobacco cessation to improve quality of life and patient-reported outcomes. Nurses and interdisciplinary teams in the United States and Europe report successful, novel nurse-led care models that optimize influence on management.


Current research suggests that nurses can influence head and neck cancer treatment through emphasis on symptom management, tobacco and alcohol cessation, and on patient and family education and care coordination. Nonetheless, evidence for practice remains scant. Only continued research, employing qualitative and quantitative approaches, conducted by nurse and interdisciplinary investigator teams will advance head and neck cancer management and optimize influence of nursing within it. Novel models for nursing care that are well fit into the organizations and society in which care is delivered may further improve care and patient outcomes. Evaluation of such models is further required to document improvements.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wolters Kluwer
Loading ...
Support Center