English title dissertation Nurse-led follow-up care for head and neck cancer patients
Name PhD (surname first) Leeuw, Jacqueline de
Doctor is (has been) nurse
Date of promotion 13/03/2013
University Radboud Universiteit
Promotores prof. dr. T. van Achterberg, prof. dr. H.A.M. Marres
Researchgate-url ubn.ru.nl
Abstract (English)

Cancer is a disease associated with aggressive treatments and debilitating side effects, severe physical problems and a multitude of uncertainties to face. The help of many health professionals is needed to guide patients and their families through the cancer trajectory. Nowadays, cancer follow-up care is regarded as an important phase in the treatment trajectory. It is acknowledged that experienced nursing care and coordination is vital to the support of patients.

The qualitative and quantitative studies in this thesis each highlight different aspects of nursing follow-up care for head and neck cancer patients. The studies showed that patients are in need of support with regard to regaining normalcy in daily living, and with coming to terms with the psychological aftermath of cancer treatment. It was shown that nurses delivered high quality care during nurse-led follow-up consultations, and that this might have enhanced cancer patients’ rehabilitation. Although nurse-patient communication was adequate in the majority of consultations, there were chances for further improvement especially on aspects of responding to signals of emotional concerns of patients.

The further development of general nurse-led cancer care services and follow-up care in particular contains promising opportunities for the improvement of cancer care. More research on nurse-led cancer care, preferably embedded in national cancer care programs, would further determine its clinical impact and effectiveness. Also, there is an urgent need to develop or modify cancer services to answer the demands of a steadily increasing number of cancer patients, and to maintain and if possible to improve the quality of cancer care.

Keywords: nurse-led care, head and neck cancer, psychosocial adjustment, quality of life, nurse-patient communication

Download dissertation (English) proefschrift-JdeLeeuw_2013.pdf