Study underscores the positive impact of patient-centered care delivered by nurses on cancer patient outcomes
Research Activities, July 2009, No. 347
A new study reveals the positive impact of patient-centered care delivered by nurses on the outcomes of cancer patients. Desired outcomes such as optimism, a sense of well-being, and trust were more likely for patients who received patient-centered nursing interventions (PCNIs). Laurel E. Radwin, Ph.D., R.N., of Massachusetts General Hospital, and colleagues used factor analysis to examine the relationships between PCNIs (care individualization, care coordination, responsiveness, and proficiency), hospital system characteristics, and patient characteristics with specific desired health outcomes for 173 hematology-oncology patients at 1 hospital. Nurse responsiveness and proficiency were positively related to patients' trust in nurses.
Individualization of care was positively related to patients' authentic self-representation, optimism, and sense of well-being. Care coordination was positively related to patients' authentic self-representation. Two health care system characteristics were significantly related to PCNIs and patient outcomes. Oncology nursing certification was positively related to proficiency and oncology nursing experience was inversely related to proficiency. Both were indirectly related to patients' subsequent trust in nurses. Finally, two patient characteristics were related to desired health outcomes. The patient's rating of general health was positively related to optimism and a sense of well-being. Patient educational level was positively related to a sense of well-being.
Patients' perceptions of PCNIs did not vary by age, gender, race, ethnicity, or educational level. Patient-centeredness of care for cancer patients may be enhanced by quality improvement activities that measure and monitor these PCNIs and resulting outcomes, suggest the researchers. Their study was supported by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (HS11625). See "Relationships between patient-centered cancer nursing interventions and desired health outcomes in the context of the health care system," by Dr. Radwin, Howard J. Cabral, Ph.D., M.P.H., and Gail Wilkes, M.S., R.N., in Research in Nursing & Health 32, pp. 4-17, 2009.