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J Support Oncol. 2010 Jan-Feb;8(1):21-7.

The effects of integrating an advanced practice palliative care nurse in a community oncology center: a pilot study.

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Case Western Reserve University, Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, Cleveland, Ohio 44106-4904, USA.


Despite the widespread recognition of the need for new models of care to better serve patients with advanced cancer, little evidence exists to document the effectiveness of these models. The purpose of this pilot study was to investigate the integration of an on-site palliative care (PC) advanced practice nurse (APRN) in the community oncology setting and the effect of PC services on patients with advanced cancer compared with usual care. This study utilized a descriptive, pre/post design with 101 adult patients with advanced cancer. Patient accrual occurred for 5 months in the usual care period (n=52), followed by 5 months of accrual after implementation of the PC APRN (n=49). Data were collected at enrollment and 4 months post enrollment. Data were analyzed using independent t-tests and logistic regression analyses. Controlling for health-related quality-of-life variables, 10 covariates were entered into two logistic regression models, with hospitalization and mortality as outcome measures. Patients who had palliative care had a significantly lower mortality rate at 4 months (odds ratio = 24.6; P = 0.02) and had an 84% decrease in the odds of being hospitalized (odds ratio = 0.16; P < 0.01). Contrary to popular belief, PC services can be effectively provided to patients as they receive chemotherapy treatment and are not associated with increased mortality. Access to a PC APRN integrated into the community oncology setting may be associated with measurable benefits.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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