An exploration of oncology specialist nurses' roles in nurse-led chemotherapy clinics

UoM administered thesis: Phd

  • Authors:
  • Carole Farrell


The purpose of this study was to investigate nurses' roles within nurse-led chemotherapy clinics. There has been a rapid expansion and development of nursing roles and responsibilities in oncology, but little understanding of how roles are enacted and their impact on patient experiences and outcomes. This was a two stage approach comprising a survey of UK oncology specialist nurses followed by an ethnographic study of nurses' roles in nurse led chemotherapy clinics. Ethics approval was obtained prior to each study; research and development approval was obtained from each hospital site prior to Study 2. Study 1 used a questionnaire survey to explore the scope of nurses' roles. A purposive sample of oncology specialist nurses perceived to be undertaking nurse-led clinics was obtained using snowball methods. Data analysis included descriptive and inferential statistics. Study 2 used ethnographic methods to explore nurses' roles in nurse-led chemotherapy clinics, which included clinical observations, interviews with nurse participants and studying documentation (protocols0 for nurse-led chemotherapy clinics. Findings were coded and thematic analysis undertaken. In study 1, 103 completed questionnaires were received with a response rate of 64%, however analysis identified 79 (76.7%) nurses undertaking nurse-led clinics, therefore statistical analysis was limited to this sample of 79 nurses. An additional 12 (11.7%) nurses wanted to undertake nurse-led clinics, therefore findings from this group were analysed separately. There was little congruence between nurses' titles and clinical roles, with significant differences in practice between different groups of nurses, in relation to history-taking (p=.036), assessing response to treatment (p=.033). Although there was no difference in the number of nurses undertaking clinical examinations (p=.065), there were differences in the nature of examinations undertaken, including respiratory (p= .002). There were also significant differences between groups of nurses in relation to nurse prescribing (p


Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Alexander Molassiotis (Supervisor)
  • Catherine Walshe (Supervisor)
Award date1 Aug 2014