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.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

The International Society of Nurses in Cancer Care (ISNCC) remains very active leading a number of exciting initiatives.

ISNCC Board of Directors will be soon be announcing that it is seeking nominations to the Board of Directors. This announcement is likely to be released in November with a nomination deadline of late January, so please ensure you are subscribed to the ISNCC mailing list in order to receive this announcement. The following Board portfolio positions will be open for nomination and election:

The 2017 International Conference on Cancer Nursing was recently held in July in Anaheim, California, USA. 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.  The post-conference evaluation report can be found at the ISNCC website.

The ISNCC Conference Management Committee is already hard at work planning the program for ICCN 2018, which will be held September 23-26 in Auckland, New Zealand. Please check the ISNCC website, Facebook and Twitter regularly for updates on ICCN 2018, such as abstract submission and registration.

ISNCC is currently managing a portfolio of international collaborative nursing capacity building projects. These projects are led by the local nurses in the region in partnership with ISNCC and other partners. These projects are critical to the vision and mission of ISNCC. Here is the list of active projects:

  • Eastern Europe Nurses' Centre Of Excellence For Tobacco Control (Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation)
  • Building Capacity of Portuguese Nurses to be Tobacco Control Champions (Pfizer)
  • Cervical and Breast Cancer Screening in Latin America (American Cancer Society)
  • Sustaining Nursing Leadership to Address Cancer Care Disparities (Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation)

Information on a new international collaborative nurse capacity building project will be available in the coming months.

ISNCC hosts a number of resources on its website that are freely available, such as the educational resources on ISNCC Insight. Similarly, ISNCC produces Position Statements that are free for all to use, endorse, adopt and disseminate as needed. Another important resource on the ISNCC website it the National Organization Guidance Document as it provides guidance for the creation of a national cancer nursing society. This is a particularly important resource for those nurses in countries that do not yet have a national cancer nursing society.

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.

See you in September in Auckland for ICCN 2018!


Monday, September 25, 2017

Can Mentoring and Collaboration Lead to a Charge of Plagiarism?

I have been teaching graduate students at research-intensive universities at the master’s or doctoral level since 1975. When I began as a new assistant professor at the University of Washington, I was fortunate to have role models who taught me the generosity of sharing my work and the importance of remaining accessible to students to help develop their ideas. I have prided myself on an open-door policy. When students want to talk, I am available. When they write something, I respond quickly. I share my work freely and give students articles, books, grants, and manuscripts in progress. In more than 40 years of teaching, there had been no suspicion of my using a student’s work. One of the cardinal rules of working with students I live by is to behave with the highest level of academic integrity, including guarding against plagiarism.

To my horror, approximately 4 years ago, I was accused of, and investigated for, taking a former doctoral student’s work and publishing it as my own. My accuser remained anonymous throughout the ordeal. My initial fear was that my former student might be at risk of potential consequences that would affect her appointment and promotion at another university. If this were the case, I wanted to set matters straight to preserve her career. Two jurors and my dean met with me to lay out the charges against me. They accompanied me to my office to copy the hard drive on my office computer and followed me home to copy my home computer. I received a copy of the work in question: my published work and the introductory chapter of my former doctoral student’s dissertation. The work reflected 750 words of background and demographic characteristics of a well-established population we both had researched at different times, me before her. The work did not reflect any original creative thought. I was instructed not to contact my former student to discuss the case while I was being investigated.

The investigation was conducted by a formal university panel composed of 3 full professors. They interrogated me in person for 90 minutes and gave me an opportunity to respond in writing to the charges. As my shock dissipated after the interrogation, I realized that, if I was found guilty, I could be dismissed from the university and dishonor it, the faculty whom I worked with throughout the years, and the journalism program where I had earned my doctorate. As a result, I took counsel from a former dean. She advised me to consult a lawyer who specialized in plagiarism cases. She assisted me in identifying a lawyer who was knowledgeable about the law and former cases. Upon meeting with him, he instructed me on how to prepare the evolution of my work including a timeline with supporting documents. The work in question had been solicited for a book, and there was a paper trail of correspondence with dates to reflect an accurate timeline and copies of draft materials. His review of my written response and confidence that I would be found innocent of the charges were the only thing that helped me during the long 6 months of waiting for the panel’s decision. Their task was to determine whether there was adequate evidence to support whether the charges should go forward to the next level of review. Finally, I received written notification that the charges had been dismissed. The panel recommended no further action.

I was so relieved, and my first response was to reach out to the student to inform her that this charge had been made and reassure her that someone had noticed the similarity of the work. It was at that point I learned that my accuser was my former student herself. As another shock hit me, I could not wrap my mind around the fact that she had not come to talk to me about her discovery of the overlap of work. This was a bright student, one whom had I encouraged to come to our doctoral program, one whom had I worked with before entering the program to develop her NIH predoctoral application, and one whom I had published several manuscripts with. She was a former student whom I had recommended for a prestigious postdoctoral fellowship and for her first academic position. I had reviewed her for reappointment and promotion. Afterward, when I emailed the student to see whether we could meet, her response was that she wanted no contact with me. It was obvious that this student thought that I had taken her work and, by doing so, had betrayed her. It has been almost 4 years since this incident happened, but the time has not diminished my sadness that the student perceived me in this way.

I thought I understood the rules of publishing, but they continue to evolve as technology evolves. It is important that authors understand the rules of plagiarism, especially self-plagiarism, when you do not cite your own previous published work. My style of working with others has always been the free flow of ideas and exchange of written words back and forth to develop articles and grants. Working together produces a better product. I have always believed and practiced that authorship should reflect the input of those who contributed. Authorship is best decided upfront at the beginning of a project or article. The work I was accused of using was written a full year before the student began her studies with me. However, my style of working is one in which we all, together, pursue the truth. So it never occurred to me to think of the work as mine or hers. My style of working with others has not changed, but I am more aware of the increasing tensions associated with the need to publish and the need to contribute to clinical scholarship and nursing science in academia. One of the greatest gifts as a teacher is to help students develop their ideas and help them publish. Their first article in print or online is magical and reaffirms who they are. We are custodians of safeguarding this process and ensuring its fairness and integrity. There is no greater responsibility than protecting our students from the harmful actions of others and ensuring that they receive full credit for their work.


---Ruth McCorkle, PhD, RN, FAAN


*This INSIGHTS article was published in CANCER NURSING 40(5): Sept/Oct 2017. The attached pdf article can be viewed at no charge and without a subscription.*



Saturday, September 9, 2017

Providing Coordinated Cancer Care - A Qualitative Study of Norwegian Cancer Coordinators' Experiences of Their Role.

Lie, Nataskja-Elena Kersting MSc; Hauken, May Aasebø PhD; Solvang, Per Koren PhD


"For me as a researcher, investigating how cancer coordinator roles evolved in the different municipalities was a highly interesting and thought-provoking process. Travelling the whole country to collect data, what struck me instantly was the great variation in how the coordinator role had evolved in Norwegian municipalities. Each cancer coordinator worked in his or her unique way, from home visits and bedside support to administrative tasks and system work – diverse accounts that fueled my interest in grasping what they all might have in common. During my research, I learned that the stories my participants shared with me were not as distinct as they seemed at first. There were stories about difficulties in establishing a pioneer position in Norwegian primary care, and stories about hardships of aligning multiple disconnected services in cancer care and managing local resource shortages. But even more so, there were stories about cancer coordinators' true dedication to the patients and their families. Most of my participants would go out of their way to help patients navigate the system and provide them with the support they needed, despite the challenges they described in enacting their tasks. Clearly, the cancer coordinators in the present study provided an invaluable resource to the patients, not merely in helping them navigate the treatment course, but  in offering them time; time for being seen and listened to, and time for discussing matters that are important in cancer patients' daily life.


These stories made me think about some reading I did some years ago:

 

In 1976, Eric Castell appealed to professionals in health care and to society for treating the patients, not their disease. Around the same time, George Engel called for a new paradigm in clinical care - a paradigm that would attend to biological, psychological, and social dimensions of illness. Both of them shared the believe that the health care system needs to attend to patients' experience of their situation as well as to their biomedical data in order to understand and respond adequately to their needs and facilitate health and healing.

 

In 2017, where an increasing number of cancer patients are required to manage a day-to-day life with cancer, this appeal by Castell and Engel is far from outdated. Cancer coordinators may be the 21st century's response to the calls made decades ago and might serve to overcome the Cartesian dualism in cancer care: in meeting individual support needs, they can help secure and empower patients to manage their day-to-day life outside the health care system where they often have little other support to rely on.

 

The stories told by cancer coordinators are stories about an initiative with great potential to improve cancer care and meet patients' needs. However, they also delineated the necessity for cancer coordinators to receive proper premises and support for enacting their role and work tasks. Without a doubt, research will be of high importance to assess the needs and prerequisites to enable the cancer coordinators' role to reach its full potential. The first step seemed to be a clarification concerning cancer coordinators' work and to disseminate information about their valuable and important role in cancer care. I hope and believe that our article may contribute to this clarification. On behalf of all authors, I can say that we are very proud that the article has been published in Cancer Nursing and will reach international clinicians and researchers who will have an impact on the provision of cancer care in the upcoming decades."

 

-- Ms. Nataskja-Elena Kersting Lie on her paper "Providing Coordinated Cancer Care - A Qualitative Study of Norwegian Cancer Coordinators' Experiences of Their Role," published ahead-of-print on CANCER NURSING's Web site.  The full article may be viewed with a subscription.


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 http://www.isncc.org/page/ICCN2017.

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!