Professional Issues

Oncology Nursing and Shared Decision Making for Cancer Treatment

Joseph D. Tariman

Enisa Mehmeti

Nadia Spawn

Sarah P. McCarter

Jessica Bishop-Royse

Ima Garcia

Lisa Hartle

Katharine Szubski

shared decision making, patient participation, professional nursing role, treatment decisions
CJON 2016, 20(5), 560-563. DOI: 10.1188/16.CJON.560-563

This study aimed to describe the contemporary role of the oncology nurse throughout the entire cancer shared decision-making (SDM) process. Study participants consisted of 30 nurses and nurse practitioners who are actively involved in direct care of patients with cancer in the inpatient or outpatient setting. The major themes that emerged from the content analysis are: oncology nurses have various roles at different time points and settings of cancer SDM processes; patient education, advocacy, and treatment side effects management are among the top nursing roles; oncology nurses value their participation in the cancer SDM process; oncology nurses believe they have a voice, but with various degrees of influence in actual treatment decisions; nurses’ level of disease knowledge influences the degree of participation in cancer SDM; and the nursing role during cancer SDM can be complicated and requires flexibility.

At a Glance

  • The contemporary role of the oncology nurse during cancer SDM is dynamic and is continuously influenced by many factors.
  • Oncology nurses must be constantly mindful of their professional role during SDM.
  • The oncology team should work toward a successful cancer SDM process and use evidence-based decision aids that can improve patient outcomes.
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