Oncology Patient Education by a Nurse Practitioner and Stress Reduction
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According to the American Cancer Society, approximately 1.7 million new cancer cases were diagnosed in 2018. With a new diagnosis of cancer, patient education can be used to decrease anxiety about the diagnosis and chemotherapy treatment plan; the individual is a novice to the experience, thus necessitating education. The purpose of this evidence-based practice quality improvement initiative was based on the inquiry, in adult oncology patients who are scheduled for first-time chemotherapy, does an educational meeting with a nurse practitioner before chemotherapy decrease the stress level? A quasi-experimental design, single group with a pre- and post-evaluation used the National Comprehensive Cancer Network Distress Monitoring Tool to evaluate level of stress. The intervention included an educational meeting with the nurse practitioner to discuss general side effects of chemotherapy and the specific treatment plan for each patient. Participants’ distress level decreased from the pre-test mean score of 4.21 to the post-test mean score of 3.17 (p= 0.002), thus suggesting it was a successful intervention. The impact on healthcare, specifically oncology patients, is to reduce feelings of distress related to their first-time receiving chemotherapy.
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