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Storytelling Intervention for Patients With Cancer: Part 1—Development and Implementation

Bronwynne C. Evans
Neva L. Crogan
Robert Bendel
ONF 2008, 35(2), 257-264 DOI: 10.1188/08.ONF.257-264

Purpose/Objectives: To develop a nurse-led storytelling intervention for patients with cancer and implement the intervention using trained oncology nurses.

Design: Descriptive pilot project using qualitative methods to assess implementation of an intervention tool kit, with investigators blinded to control and intervention group membership.

Setting: Local regional medical center in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States.

Sample: A convenience sample of 11 patients with various cancer diagnoses was used for tool kit generation. Intervention and control groups were then formed and used to study tool kit implementation.

Methods: Participant exit interviews and facilitator debriefing questionnaires assessed the ability of a nurse facilitator to use a group storytelling intervention tool kit. Data from control and intervention groups were analyzed and compared with qualitative procedures.

Main Research Variables: A nurse-led storytelling intervention.

Findings: Analysis of interviews and questionnaires revealed implementation of storytelling tool kit principles and differences between storytelling and control groups in three patterns: finding a soft place to fall, understanding the cancer experience, and figuring out how (if) to get through it.

Conclusions: Techniques contained in the tool kit were implemented and deemed clinically useful by oncology nurses.

Implications for Nursing: Given the small testing groups, pilot project results must be interpreted with caution, but with additional research and instructional development, the tool kit could be useful to nurses in a variety of settings and locales.

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