Benefits and challenges perceived by patients with cancer when offered a nurse navigator

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Introduction: Lack of communication, care and respect from healthcare professionals can be challenges for patients in trajectories of cancer, possibly accompanied by experienced fragmentation of the care, anxiety and worries. One way to try to improve delivery of care is additional help from nurse navigators (NN) offered in a predefined shorter or longer period, but patients’ experiences with this have seldom been investigated. Aims: To explore experiences of nurse navigation offered in a short period of a longer subsequent part of cancer trajectories by patients who can use the help on offer. Methods: The NNs worked from one hospital department with patients in the transition between primary care and a university hospital before admission. A phenomenological-hermeneutical longitudinal study was performed from referral and until two months after discharge from the hospital. Semi-structured interviews with five patients who could use the help from an NN provided data for the analysis, which started open-minded. Results: Affectional bonds were made to the NN and patients felt that they benefited from her presence and her help, which they requested until one month after discharge. They were disappointed and felt rejected when the contact to the NN stopped. Conclusion: In efforts to increase quality of care for patients with cancer we recommend an increased awareness of cultural areas within the healthcare system, which may be an impediment to good communication. Moreover, we recommend paying special attention to critical periods in cancer patients’ trajectories, as well as to the theory of attachment to supplement thoughts of continuity of care and coordination in the care for women. In short, it is fine to offer additional help to those who can use it, but in practice as well as in research we recommend awareness of how and when to stop the help, to prevent patients from feeling hurt.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Integrated Care
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, Ubiquity Press Ltd. All rights reserved.

    Research areas

  • Cancer, Continuity, Integrated care, Nurse navigator, Patients view, Qualitative study

ID: 324138566