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Turning Toward the Psychosocial Domain of Oncology Nursing: A Main Problem Analysis in the Netherlands

Uitterhoeve, Ruud MSN, RN; Duijnhouwer, Ellen MSN, RN; Ambaum, Betty MSN, RN; van Achterberg, Theo PhD, RN


The purpose of this descriptive exploratory study by the Dutch Oncology Nursing Society was to describe the problem areas in the care of patients who are receiving chemotherapy as perceived by patients and professional caregivers as well as to explore differences between the perceptions of patients and professional caregivers. Three independent samples of 120 patients who are being treated with chemotherapy, 42 chemotherapy prescribing medical specialists, and 68 oncology nurses who are involved in the daily bedside care of the patients undergoing chemotherapy participated in the study. Patients and professional caregivers completed a 69- and a 58-item self-administered questionnaire, respectively. Results show that patients were satisfied with the medical and nursing care they received. Furthermore, results suggest that professional caregivers perceive the experience of patients with chemotherapy differently than patients, eg, patients perceive chemotherapy as reassuring that something is being done; whereas caregivers think that patients experience chemotherapy as something to fear or be anxious or uncertain about. It further seems that professional caregivers are more prone to act upon the medical–technical aspects of the treatment than to act on psychosocial sequelae of the treatment.

From the Department of Medical Oncology (Mr Uitterhoeve) and the Department of Nursing Science (Dr van Achterberg), University Medical Center Nijmegen; VU University Medical Center Amsterdam (Ms Duijnhouwer); and the University Medical Center, Utrecht (Ms Ambaum), The Netherlands

This research was supported by a grant from Amgen BV, Breda, The Netherlands.

Corresponding author: Ruud Uitterhoeve, MSN, RN, University Medical Center Nijmegen E30, PO Box 9101 HB Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

Accepted for publication: August 15, 2002.

© 2003 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.