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A sense of security for cancer patients at home: the role of community nurses

The present paper reports on a qualitative research project designed to expose the presently unrecognised minutiae of community nurses’ work with cancer patients at home, and to identify the ways in which these, combined to form comprehensive care episodes, contribute to physical and psychosocial well-being. The project was conducted in two locations in New South Wales, Australia, one metropolitan and one rural. The research model focused on particular nurse–patient encounters, and involved pre- and post-encounter interviews with nurses, post-encounter interviews with patients and carers, and observation of the encounters themselves. Participants included generalist community nurses, cancer patients being cared for at home, and their primary carers where appropriate. This research demonstrates that regular contact with generalist community nurses is associated with a strong sense of security about the immediate situation for home-based cancer patients and their primary carers. This sense of security is a significant component of patient and carer physical and psychosocial well-being, and may have implications for health services utilisation. In the present paper, the authors outline the factors underpinning this sense of security, and argue that these findings contribute important new knowledge that is vital for contemporary debates about role responsibilities and continuity of care for cancer patients.

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Health and Social Care in the Community

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Social care online
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