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Cancer. 1989 Sep 15;64(6):1375-82.

A randomized clinical trial of home nursing care for lung cancer patients.

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1
University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, Philadelphia 19104.

Abstract

A randomized clinical trial was conducted to assess the effects of home nursing care for patients with progressive lung cancer. One hundred sixty-six patients were assigned to either an oncology home care group (OHC) that received care from oncology home care nurses, a standard home care group (SHC) that received care from regular home care nurses, or an office care group (OC) that received whatever care they needed except for home care. Patients were entered into the study 2 months after diagnosis and followed for 6 months. Patients were interviewed at 6-week intervals across five occasions. At the end of the study, there were no differences in pain, mood disturbance, and concerns among the three groups. There were significant differences in symptom distress, enforced social dependency, and health perceptions. The two home nursing care groups had less distress and greater independence 6 weeks longer than the office care group. In addition, the two home nursing care groups steadily reported worse health perceptions over time. Thus, it was remarkable that the office care group, which indicated more symptom distress and social dependency with time, also indicated perceptions of improved health with time. These results suggest that home nursing care assists patients with forestalling distress from symptoms and maintaining their independence longer in comparison to no home nursing care. Home care may also include assisting patients in acknowledging the reality of their situation.

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