Advanced registered nurse practitioners (ARNP) had been integrated into the oncology team at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida with the purpose of discussing palliative care intervention for persons newly diagnosed with metastatic cancer. The team found that this type of intervention improved emotional and mental quality of life (QoL) for those patients who participated in the program.
The nurses, along with a QoL assessment, included discussions about the benefits of hospice, the need for living wills as well as advanced directives.
Among the 26 patients who participated in the intervention statistically significant improvements from baseline in emotional and mental QoL assessments were noted. However, such improvements were not seen in a control group. Initially, the trial design planned to enroll 100 people in the study, the project was stopped when other data showing the benefit of similar nurse-driven palliative interventions were published.
The researchers concluded in that an ARNP-directed intervention that explains the benefits of hospice and addresses advanced directives early in the course of treatment is well-received by patients with metastatic cancer as well as their relatives and measurably improves the patient’s emotional and mental QoL.
A Nurse Practitioner Directed Intervention Improves the Quality of Life of Patients with Metastatic Cancer: Results of a Randomized Pilot Study: Stephen Dyar, Mary Lesperance, Robert Shannon, Jeff Sloan, and Gerardo Colon-Otero. Journal of Palliative Medicine. -Not available-, ahead of print. doi:10.1089/jpm.2012.0014.
Joel T Nowak, M.A., M.S.W.