Are nursing interventions effective in improving quality of life in cancer survivors? A systematic review.
Background Cancer survivors (CSs) have needs that can negatively impact their quality of life (QoL). Oncology nurses play a key role in providing comprehensive care in cancer survivorship, although little is known about their impact on health outcomes. Objective The aim of this study was to determine the effectiveness of nursing interventions to improve QoL and satisfaction with care of CSs. Methods A systematic review was conducted. PubMed, CINAHL, PsycINFO, and Cochrane databases were searched for experimental studies. The Joanna Briggs Institute Checklist for Randomized Controlled Trials was used to verify the quality of the studies (Prospero reference: CRD42020148294). Results Of the 8 clinical trials eligible for inclusion, 5 demonstrated that interventions conducted by nurses improved the overall QoL or some of its domains in CSs. The included studies focused on short-term survival; no studies in long-term CSs were identified. Two studies assessed satisfaction with care of survivors, obtaining positive results. Conclusions Nursing interventions seem to improve the QoL of short-term CSs. However, because of the low number of studies identified, the findings of this systematic review should be interpreted with caution. Implications for practice Further studies are necessary to strengthen the implementation of effective nursing intervention in cancer practice. Research should particularly be conducted with long-term CSs as there is lack of data on this specific stage of cancer.