Date of Award

Spring 5-31-2020

Document Type

Doctor of Nursing Practice Final Manuscript

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Department

Nursing

First Advisor

Joseph F. Burkard, DNCs, CRNA

Abstract

Objectives: Palliative care services constitute a vital part of the oncology treatment plan. Much of the suffering associated directly with cancer itself or as a result of treatments can be mitigated with the early incorporation of palliative services. Unfortunately, access to palliative care remains elusive due to a lack of qualified providers. This evidence-based project was implemented in an effort to address gaps in care for advanced cancer patients. The goal was to provide telehealth visits for follow-up of stable patients to manage symptoms and psychosocial challenges with equivalent or improved satisfaction as compared to their last in-office visit using an anonymous qualitative survey.

Methods: The first intervention was to identify palliative-appropriate patients by encouraging oncologists to initiate palliative outpatient referrals at the time of diagnosis. The second was to enroll patients who were identified as stable at their last in-person visit into the telehealth palliative care program. Lastly, telehealth visits were conducted, and data collected using the post-visit questionnaire.

Results: Data on 7 participants was collected during the pilot phase. An additional 10 participants were included in the second phase of this study. Both the pilot phase of this project as well as data collected during this last interval indicate patient satisfaction that is at least equivalent, if not better than in-person visits because of convenience and positive effect on quality of life.

Conclusion: Palliative telehealth visits have the potential to provide equivalent or improved symptom management and psychosocial needs assessments when compared to in-person visits while alleviating the added stress associated with frequent travel.

Available for download on Tuesday, April 27, 2021

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