Background: Bowel cancer is one of the most common and potentially preventable cancers. There is strong demand for bowel cancer screening programmes within the community. Nurses may play a vital role in the success of such programmes.
Objective: The review aims to evaluate the effectiveness of nurse-led endoscopy in colorectal cancer screening.
Methods: A systematic search of the literature identified 226 articles published in English between 1994 and 2012. Of these articles, six were included for analysis.
Results: Three outcome measures were identified, namely quality and safety, patient satisfaction, and cost-effectiveness. Nurse-led endoscopy was comparable to physician-led endoscopy procedures with regards to indicators of quality and safety. Overall, greater patient satisfaction was reported with nurse-led endoscopy procedures and there was some evidence of improved cost-effectiveness.
Conclusion: Nurse-performed endoscopy appears to be as safe and effective as physician-performed endoscopy procedures in suitably selected patient populations. Further research and application of standardised training programmes and settings will be vital to ensuring ongoing safety and efficiency of nurse-led endoscopy.