Is nurse-patient agreement of importance to cancer nurses' satisfaction with care?

Gunilla Mårtensson, Marianne Carlsson, Claudia Lampic
Journal of Advanced Nursing 2010, 66 (3): 573-82

AIM: This paper is a report of a study of situational (nurse-patient agreement), personal and occupational factors of potential importance to oncology nurses' satisfaction with care provided and general work satisfaction.

BACKGROUND: Nurses have a general tendency to attribute to patients with cancer more problems and suffering than patients themselves report. However, little is known about whether dis/agreement between oncology nurses and patients with cancer concerning perceptions of patients' situation is of importance to nurses' satisfaction with their work.

METHODS: The study had a comparative and prospective design. Data were collected in 2005 using self-administrated questionnaires with 81 consecutively recruited nurse-patient pairs. Data were analysed with non-parametric tests (for comparison between subgroups) and with multiple regression analyses (for identifying predictors).

RESULTS: Initial nurse-patient agreement concerning patients' emotional distress, coping resources and quality of life did not appear to be important to nurses' subsequent satisfaction with the care directed at a specific patient. However, higher satisfaction with care provided as well as general work satisfaction was reported by nurses with more experience of cancer care and with a lower workload.

CONCLUSION: To improve oncology nurses' opportunities to provide high quality cancer care, novice nurses and advanced beginners in particular should receive support and nurses' working conditions must be improved. Further research is needed to examine whether there are other aspects of the nurse-patient relationship that contribute to oncology nurses' satisfaction with the care provided to specific patients.

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