An exploration of the use of patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) by Gynaecology Cancer Nurse Specialists in the delivery of supportive care to women with cervical cancer

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Introduction: Patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) can be utilised to effectively identify the needs of women with cervical cancer (CC) for supportive care1. The logistics pertinent to use of needs assessment PROMs by Gynaecology cancer nurse specialists (CNS) in the acute care setting still remain unknown. Aims/Objectives: Our aim was to explore the feasibility and acceptability of PROMs-driven, CNS-led consultations to enhance delivery of supportive care to women with CC during active anti-cancer treatment within NHS Lanarkshire. Methodology: A systematic literature review2 and focus groups with patients and health professionals (Phase 1) were followed by a repeated-measures, exploratory study (Phase 2), whereby pre-consultation PROM data were collected during three consecutive, monthly consultations, and used by the CNS to deliver personalised supportive care to women with CC. Results: Phase 1 data indicated the Cervical Cancer Concerns Questionnaire3 and Problem Checklist4 as most appropriate PROMs. Only 3 women participated in Phase 2 due to considerable recruitment challenges (recruitment rate: 27%, 3/11); two completed all 3 study assessments. Seven in-clinic patient assessments were performed over 6 months. A case-study analysis of PROM data indicated diverse patterns in the magnitude of the women’s needs. In exit interviews, study participants praised the opportunity for dedicated time for the women to raise concerns and for the CNS to provide sensitive and personalised support. Conclusions: Women with CC perceive important benefits from participating in PROMs-driven and time-protected sessions with their CNS. Our findings provide only tentative evidence to support feasibility of use of PROMs as part of nurse-led consultations in this area, and warrant future confirmation. Service Improvement: Implementing PROMs-driven consultations at key transition points (post-diagnosis and staging, beginning of treatment, and post-treatment follow-up) may help address pressing/debilitating needs of women with CC. Facilitating joint patient-family member consultations may enable discussions with greater therapeutic effect.

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