Author on Call

The function of the “Author on Call” blog is to allow our readers and authors to interact with each other in a unique way. A few select authors will be chosen to share on the blog aspects of their papers that were especially meaningful to them personally or points that may not have made it into their published report. Readers will then have the opportunity to provide comments and questions, to which the authors will respond.

At times, as seen in our first entry, we will also post separate entries to the blog on various special topics that we feel would be informational or that we welcome your feedback on.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Caregiver Sleep and Patient Neutrophil Engraftment in Allogeneic Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant: A Secondary Analysis.

Sannes, Timothy S. PhD; Mikulich-Gilbertson, Susan K. PhD; Natvig, Crystal L. BS; Brewer, Benjamin W. PsyD; Simoneau, Teresa L. PhD; Laudenslager, Mark L. PhD

"The time around transplant for allogeneic stem cell transplant (allo-HSCT) represents a time in which patients and caregivers can experience significant distress. While overlap in patient and caregiver well-being has been documented, the degree to which this overlap may affect patients' clinical outcomes is less clear. The article by Sannes and colleagues reports that poor caregiver sleep (measured by self-report and an activity monitoring device) prior to transplant is significantly related to a longer time to patient neutrophil engraftment – an important outcome in allo-HSCT. These results highlight the importance of the shared experience of patient-caregiver dyads in relation to patient outcome. Nursing staff are well-positioned to monitor patient and caregiver well-being during allo-HSCT."

---Dr. Sannes on "Caregiver Sleep and Patient Neutrophil Engraftment in Allogeneic Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant: A Secondary Analysis," published ahead-of-print on the CANCER NURSING Web site.  The full article may be viewed with a subscription.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

In July, the 2017 International Conference on Cancer Nursing was held at the Sheraton Park Hotel in Anaheim, California. The theme was “Merging Research and Practice Across the Globe” and the Conference Management Committee assembled a very high quality program. There were many outstanding presentations, such as the keynote address, “What Can Qualitative Research Offer in a World Where Evidence Drives Decision?” from Sally Thorne, RN, PhD, FAAN, FCAHS from the University of British Columbia. It was an intimate meeting – perfect for networking and discussions about different ways to maximize the role of nurses in cancer care.  A post-conference evaluation report of ICCN 2017 will be available at

ICCN is also used as an opportunity to advance its projects aimed at increasing cancer nursing professionals around the world, particularly in low and middle income countries. As part of the “Sustaining Nursing Leadership to Address Cancer Care Disparities”, funded by the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, Annie Young of the ISNCC Board of Directors and Chair of the Corporate & Philanthropic Development facilitated a focus group at ICCN 2017. This Focus Group included 10 nurses from around the world and was extremely informative in the continued development of this initiative.

The working group of the Cervical and Breast Cancer Screening in Latin America, funded by the American Cancer Society (and previously funded by the US Centers for Disease Control and the Union for International Cancer Control) held an in-person meeting at ICCN 2017. This very productive group of nurses laid out the plans for further Cervical and Breast Cancer screening workshops in Latin America and the development of more educational resources for nurses in the region.

The ISNCC Board of Directors also held an in-person meeting over two days just prior to ICCN 2017. A focus of the meeting was to further refine the ISNCC 2017-2021 Strategic Plan. The development and engagement of nurse leaders will be the central strategy and will be integrated throughout three other strategic directions: Influence Global Health Policy, Advance & Apply Knowledge and Transform Member Relations.

ISNCC is pleased to announce that ICCN 2018 will be held September 23-26 in Auckland, New Zealand. More information on ICCN 2018, such as abstract submission and registration, will be available in the coming months.

As always, ISNCC encourages submissions to its blog International Cancer Nursing News. The blog is a great platform to share experience and insights of cancer nursing professionals from all over the world. Finally, please make sure you are signed up for the ISNCC newsflash in order to ensure you are up to date on all the latest news from ISNCC.

Hopefully we saw you in Anaheim for ICCN 2017 and will see you next year in Auckland for ICCN 2018!

Monday, July 3, 2017

​We recently posed this question to our team of peer reviewers:  As a peer reviewer for a specialty journal (CANCER NURSING: An International Journal for Cancer Care), what do you find especially impressive when you are reviewing a manuscript?    Hear what some had to say:

Patricia Carter, PhD, RN, CNS:  It is especially important/impressive for me to see that the author(s) have carefully considered and clearly articulated how their work will APPLY to the practice of oncology nursing. 


Sally Thorne, RN, PhD, FAAN, FCAHS: It is especially impressive when the author has predicted and pre-empted the kinds of critiques that a thoughtful reader is likely to have about the manuscript.


Patsy Yates, PhD, RN, FACN, FAAN:  When the work reflects real advances to cancer nursing knowledge and that it could transform practice.


Kathryn Ciccolini Hernandez MSN, RN, OCN, DNC: I find it extremely impressive when the manuscript is submitted as a first draft with a well-structured outline of thought, minimal grammar changes, and writing style format is strictly adhered to. Also, I find it impressive when the authors can articulate the importance and purpose of their paper and define why their work is important to the reader on the first round of edits. 


Diana J. Wilkie, PhD, RN, FAAN: Compelling, specific problem with strong scientific premise and theoretical basis to support rigorously implemented methods with clearly reported findings, targeted discussion, and solid conclusions about implications for practice, education, and future research. 


Mary Ann Cantrell, PhD, RN, CNE, FAAN: What I find especially impressive when reviewing a manuscript is a well written, logically congruent constructed paper that has timely significance to advance the science in oncology nursing. 


Deborah B. McGuire, PhD, RN, FAAN: It's especially striking when authors of a submitted research manuscript are able to bring together their focus on an important clinical cancer problem with first-rate research methodology, thereby producing findings that help nurses in the practice arena. 


Meinir Krishnasamy, PhD: Robust/evidence informed definitions of variables of interest that align with measures or methods employed to collect data.


Paz Fernández- Ortega, RN, MSc, PhD: In my opinion, authors have improve methods on research. It makes me very happy to read interesting studies with qualitative and mix- methods!!


Elisabeth Coyne, PhD, MN, BN, RN, RM: The quality of the manuscripts is good, topics interesting and ease of submission.  


Dong Pang, PhD, RN: As a peer reviewer, I am most impressed by the passion of the authors who would like to explore and share their experiences in cancer nursing, and the academic atmosphere that the editor provided to us, especially when I read the comments of other peer reviewers of the same manuscripts, as well as the model comments each year!


Sharleen Simpson, PhD, MA, MSN, BSN, ARNP: Since I mostly review international manuscripts, I am impressed by the tremendous variety of topics related to different cultures, environments and resources that nurses from around the world are researching but that still have relevance to US and UK problems.


B. Joyce Davison, RN, PhD: I am impressed when I find an article that is writing about a new topic or taking a new fresh view on a topic/disease. Many are rehashing old things that should be built on with a fresh take.


Usha Menon, PhD, RN, FAAN:  Strong writing and good editing!


Donna Milne, RN, MN (Res), PhD: What I find impressive when I review a manuscript is an abstract that is well written, concise and contains the main message and encourages me to read on.


Yan (Ella) Lou, BSN, MSN, PhD: Authors' description of the problems encountered in the real world and passion to solve the problem are most impressive.


Cristina García Vivar, PhD: Family resilience is the successful coping of cancer patients and their family members under adversity that enables them to flourish with warmth, support, and cohesion. Metaphorically speaking, authors show through their articles an incredible resilience: facing rejections, coping with major changes, building capacity to improve their papers, and keeping the hope that finally, and after much effort and work, their article is accepted!


Jun Yan, PhD, RN: I found that the quality of nursing manuscripts is getting higher and higher, therefore provides a solid theoretical basis for our professional development.


Jennifer Stephens, MA, PhD(c), RN, OCN: The manuscripts I find most impressive are those that are cutting edge, particularly in regards to pushing boundaries around research methodologies.


Karen Meneses, PhD, RN, FAAN: I find the author(s) are passionate about their work!


Winnie KW So, PhD, RN:  A topic that is able to address the actual health needs of cancer patients; the topic is able to attract an international audience.


Lorraine Holtslander, RN, PhD, CHPCN(c): I look for a cohesive manuscript that provides new insight into complex problems or issues.


Jeanne M Erickson, PhD, RN, AOCN: I am most impressed with a manuscript that answers a significant and innovative question related to the care of patients with cancer using literature or research methodology.


Suzanne Ameringer, PhD, RN: I find the experience of reviewing manuscripts that are submitted from around the world quite amazing!



Do you agree with these reviewers' comments?  Do you have an additional opinion?  If so, please let us know by commenting below!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

We recently posed this question to the members of our Editorial Board:  When might the editorial board of a peer-reviewed, research journal opt not to accept a topic for peer review?  Hear what some had to say:


Sarah H. Kagan, PhD, RN:  All About the Science: Quality. Import. Relevance. Ethics. Originality. Contribution.


Ray Chan, PhD, MAppSc, RN, FACN:  When a topic has been "done to death", where there will be no meaningful additions to the literature.


Ruth McCorkle, PhD, RN, FAAN:  Non-cancer nursing content unless the author makes the implications clear.  Oncology covers such a wide spectrum of care. The main thing about our journal is that it is international, so if an article speaks only to an American audience I would probably recommend a different journal. This would have to be something specific to our health care system and not generalizable.


Winnie KW So, PhD, MHA, BN, RN:  For me, the main reasons are:  out of scope of the journal and the findings of the study are unable to provide new knowledge in cancer care.


Do you agree with these comments?  Do you have an additional opinion?  If so, please let our Editorial Board know by commenting below!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Translation and Cultural Adaptation of the Scored Patient-Generated Subjective Global Assessment: An Interdisciplinary Nutritional Instrument Appropriate for Dutch Cancer Patients

Martine J. Sealy, MSc, RD; Ulrike Haß, MSc, RD; Faith D. Ottery, MD, PhD; Cees P. van der Schans, PhD, PT; Jan L.N. Roodenburg, DDS, MD, PhD; Harriët Jager-Wittenaar, PhD, RD

"There is no word for malnutrition in Dutch. For our research, we needed an instrument to assess malnutrition in patients with head and neck cancer, and the versatile PG-SGA seemed a good option. However, it was originally developed in English for the American cultural setting and it was not available in Dutch. At first I thought: how different could the Dutch setting be from the American setting? But then it hit me… To begin with, there is no word for malnutrition in Dutch. There is a word for undernutrition, and a word for overnutrition, but these words do not cover exactly the same load as the word malnutrition. This made us decide that we needed a translation of the PG-SGA that included cultural adaptation. The journey that followed led to some surprising eye-openers. A Dutch patient that is asked whether he uses nutritional supplements, is probably thinking of his vitamin pill in the morning. He may not think of the unopened bottle of sip feeding in his fridge, which the PG-SGA refers to.

When I had no experience with the PG-SGA, and first read the following question:  "How would you rate the status of the interosseous muscles – 0=no loss, 1=mild loss, 2=moderate loss, 3=severe loss", it was incomprehensible to me, because I never heard of the term interosseous. Once this was clarified, I did comprehend the question, but I still thought it was difficult. To answer it, I needed knowledge of the human muscle anatomy and the skills to distinguish between "no loss", "mild loss", "moderate loss" and "severe loss".  It was surprising how much extra information was generated by discriminating between comprehensibility and difficulty. By including questions regarding comprehensibility and difficulty of the PG-SGA during the pilot test in cancer patients and healthcare professionals, we gained deeper insight in what items are considered comprehensible, implying the formulation is clear, and what items are considered difficult, implying a need for more knowledge and/or training.

The article Translation and Cultural Adaptation of the Scored Patient-Generated Subjective Global Assessment: An Interdisciplinary Nutritional Instrument Appropriate for Dutch Cancer Patients is the result of our cross-cultural journey. We are very excited that this study is published in Cancer Nursing, because the PG-SGA encourages an interdisciplinary approach to nutritional care. Nurses have a valuable role, because they are often in charge of the nutritional screening process, and, if needed, often initiate involvement of other professionals. As a result of our enthusiasm for the benefits of combining translation with cultural adaptation, my supervisor, Dr. Harriët Jager-Wittenaar, together with the developer of the PG-SGA, Dr. Faith Ottery, started to provide guidance from the PG-SGA/Pt-Global Platform (, to include cultural adaptation in translation projects for the PG-SGA into other languages and/or cultures. Shortly after the Dutch version, the Portuguese version of the PG-SGA was developed in collaboration with the Platform. Currently, for example Brazilian-Portuguese, German, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, and Thai versions of the PG-SGA are being developed and will become available as well."

—Ms. Martine Sealy on the paper " Translation and Cultural Adaptation of the Scored Patient-Generated Subjective Global Assessment: An Interdisciplinary Nutritional Instrument Appropriate for Dutch Cancer Patients," published ahead-of-print on the CANCER NURSING Web site. The full article may be viewed with a subscription.