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Nurse-Led Telephonic Symptom Support for Patients Receiving Chemotherapy

symptom management, practice guidelines, patient-centered care, evidence-based practice
ONF 2020, 47(6), E199-E210. DOI: 10.1188/20.ONF.E199-E210

Problem Statement: The use of evidence-informed symptom guides has not been widely adopted in telephonic support.

Design: This is a descriptive study of nurse-led support using evidence-based symptom guides during telephone outreach.

Data Sources: Documentation quantified telephone encounters by frequency, length, and type of patient-reported symptoms. Nurse interviews examined perceptions of their role and the use of symptom guides.

Analysis: Quantitative data were summarized using univariate descriptive statistics, and interviews were analyzed using directed descriptive content analysis.

Findings: Symptom guides were viewed as trusted evidence-based resources, suitable to address common treatment-related symptoms. A threshold effect was a reported barrier of the guides, such that the benefit diminished over time for managing recurring symptoms.

Implications for Practice: Telephone outreach using evidence-based symptom guides can contribute to early symptom identification while engaging patients in decision making. Understanding nurse activities aids in developing an economical and high-quality model for symptom support, as well as in encouraging nurses to practice at the highest level of preparation.

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