22 November 2023

Weston Park Cancer Centre nurse wins best-ranked research paper at international cancer conference


Cancer nurse leads the way with internationally acclaimed research studying impact of treatments of rare cancer on quality of life 

  • A nurse researching the impact of a rare pregnancy-related cancer on patients’ quality of life has won the best-ranked research paper at an international cancer conference
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist Jane Ireson, who works at one of only two specialist national gestational trophoblastic disease centres in the UK, highlighted the development of a web-based tool gathering self-reported feedback from patients on how cancer treatments affect their health and wellbeing
  • The tool, which is now in routine use in Sheffield, was found to positively benefit patients and helped nurses engage with what matters to patients.

 

A nurse pioneering the development of a web-based tool to understand how treatments for a rare pregnancy-related cancer impact on patients’ quality of life has earned the best-ranked abstract (research paper) at an international cancer conference.

Jane Ireson, Clinical Nurse Specialist & National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Doctoral Fellow and Researcher in Residence: Cancer Experience at Weston Park Cancer Centre, received the distinguished title at the European Oncology Nursing Society conference.

Jane’s abstract, entitled ‘Integrating an electronic Patient Reported Outcome Measure (ePROM) into a nurse-led rare cancer pathway’, outlined work led by a team of nurses from Weston Park Cancer Centre which led to an electronic patient reported outcome measure system to improve care for patients with gestational trophoblastic disease.

Gestational trophoblastic disease is a rare complication of pregnancy that can present as or turn into cancer. Weston Park Cancer Centre is home to one of only two national gestational trophoblastic disease treatment centres.

The web-based tool, known as ePAQ-GTD (electronic personal assessment questionnaire-GTD), was developed with input from patients using Sheffield’s own electronic personal assessment questionnaire technology. The tool was tailored to include self-reported feedback from patients on how cancer treatments affect their health and wellbeing.

This information covers a wide range of areas from physical symptoms, psychological impact, fertility, sexual function, self-image and activities of daily living, and is presented to nurses ahead of patient clinics in the form of a simple electronic summary. Nurses can then use this information to prioritise health and wellbeing concerns that matter to patients in new virtual nurse-led clinics.

The research found that women were more likely to engage with ePAQ-GTD when there was perceived personal benefit. Integrating the tool into routine care also had a positive effect on patients’ communication, wellbeing and engagement with clinical services. In addition, the tool helped patients have important discussions with specialist gestational trophoblastic disease nurses about the ongoing impacts of the disease and its treatment. This was particularly the case with taboo subjects such as sexual dysfunction and mental health.

Patients are asked to complete the questionnaire when they are referred to the Sheffield Centre, at the start and end of their treatment, and at six weeks, six months and yearly following chemotherapy alongside their lab based follow up.

Jane Ireson, Clinical Nurse Specialist & National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Doctoral Fellow and Researcher in Residence: Cancer Experience at Weston Park Cancer Centre, said: “I am delighted and honoured to receive this recognition. As one of only two specialist national gestational trophoblastic disease treatment centres in the UK, this accolade is an endorsement of how Sheffield is once again leading the way with innovative nursing-led research and patient-centred care that has the potential to impact on global cancer practice in gestational trophoblastic disease and other areas within oncology such as pelvic radiotherapy.”

The tool is now routinely in Sheffield and is being piloted across the UK gestational trophoblastic disease centre service as part of the research. The national gestational trophoblastic disease service is celebrating its fiftieth year of caring for cancer patients.

ENDS



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