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The Impact of COVID-19 on Clinical Nurse Specialists and Patients With Cancer: A Pan-Specialty Cross-sectional Survey

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

  • Alice S Forster
  • Janine Zylstra
  • Christian von Wagner
  • Yasemin Hirst
  • Martin Forster
  • Rebecca Walshe
  • Zainab Kazzaz
  • Andrew Steptoe
  • Martin Birchall
  • Neill Patani
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>20/08/2022
<mark>Journal</mark>Clinical nurse specialist CNS
Issue number5
Number of pages6
Pages (from-to)272-277
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date5/08/22
<mark>Original language</mark>English


PURPOSE/AIMS: Uptake and delivery of cancer services across the United Kingdom have been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This study aimed to understand the impact of the pandemic on the working practices of clinical nurse specialists and their patient interactions across different cancer specialties.

DESIGN: We performed a cross-sectional survey exploring nurses' experiences of delivering care during the pandemic, as well as their perceptions of the concerns that cancer patients were experiencing.

METHODS: Clinical nurse specialists working in London cancer services were invited to complete an online questionnaire. Nurses' experiences and their perceptions of patients' concerns were analyzed descriptively.

RESULTS: Fifty-four nurses participated. Almost half had been redeployed to other clinical areas during the pandemic (n = 19). COVID-19 discussions added 5 to 10 minutes on average to most consultations, with nurses either working longer/unpaid hours (34%) or spending less time talking to patients about cancer (39%) to deal with this. Approximately 50% of nurses would have liked additional information and support from their hospital.

CONCLUSIONS: Clinical nurse specialist time and resources have been stretched during the COVID-19 pandemic. Hospitals need to work with nursing staff to ensure the specific information needs of cancer patients are being met.