Role of the nurse in the design, delivery, monitoring and coordination of cancer survivorship care plans: an integrative review
Aim Survivorship care plans (SCPs) are recommended as a tool for the care of cancer survivors. SCPs have been implemented with a multidisciplinary approach; however, the specific role of nurses in the SCP is unknown. Our aim is to determine the role of nurses and their degree of participation in cancer SCPs. Design Integrative review of the literature with systematic methodology. Data sources PubMed, CINAHL, PsycINFO, Web of Science, Cochrane and Cancerlit databases were reviewed. Articles published up to March 2021 were included. Review method Of the 2,638 publications identified, 22 studies met our inclusion criteria. Quality of included studies was assessed using Joanna Briggs Institute quality assessment tools. Results The studies showed that nurses play a key role and participate in different phases of the SCP, including design, delivery, monitoring and coordination among different levels of care, with varying degrees of involvement and responsibility; design and delivery of the SCP are the phases with the highest nurse participation (18 out of 22 studies). The majority of SCPs are implemented in specialized, hospital-based care and focus on short-term cancer survivors, who are actively undergoing oncological treatments. Conclusion This review shows that nurses actively participate in the design, implementation and coordination of SCPs. However, SCPs focus on the acute survival and treatment phases, and there is a gap in their use in long-term cancer survivorship. This gap may be one reason the needs of long-term cancer survivors are not covered. Impact This review contributes to the current body of knowledge by addressing the role of nurses in cancer SCPs. We recommend the involvement of an advanced practice nurse as SCP coordinator to improve communication between cancer specialists and primary care providers and to promote continued care throughout the different phases of cancer survivorship, including long-term survival.