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Nurses help patients with incurable cancer discuss end-of-life care

A nurse-led communication support program is changing the way patients with incurable cancer discuss their prognosis and care with other health professionals.

The authors of a paper on the program, published in the International Journal of Nursing Studies, stated: “Patients are often not given the information needed to understand their prognosis and make informed treatment choices, with many consequently experiencing less than optimal care and quality of life at the end of their lives.”

With this in mind, the team explored the efficacy of the support program, which aimed to help patients with advanced, incurable cancer understand and discuss their prognosis and end-of-life care options.

Nursing Review sat down with the paper’s lead author, Adam Walczak, a researcher with the University of Sydney’s Centre For Medical Psychology & Evidence-Based Decision-Making, to discuss nurses’ role in the program and how the intervention changed the way patients approached discussions with oncologists.

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