Objective: This scoping review aims at exploring the effectiveness of nurse-led advanced practice for patients with cancer.
Methods: This review followed the PRISMA extension for scoping reviews. Randomised controlled trials on cancer nurse-led clinics for patient outcomes, costs, service utilisation and other outcomes were included. Databases such as MEDLINE, CENTRAL, CINAHL, EMBASE and PsychINFO were searched based on MeSH terms. Thematic analysis was used to synthesise results of the included studies.
Results: Seventeen articles were included, published between 2001 and 2019. There were methodological shortcomings with a number of the studies reviewed. Five themes were identified including (1) rationale for developing nurse-led clinics, (2) mode of delivery of nurse-led clinics, (3) the content of nurse-led clinics, (4) exploring patient outcomes and (5) satisfaction with nurse-led clinics.
Conclusions: The results support the effectiveness of nurse-led clinics in improving self-reported responses such as distress levels, satisfaction, quality of life, depressive symptoms, concerns and vomiting among cancer patients. Following a sound protocol for both the study and the reporting is recommended, and future studies should focus more on costs and effectiveness of different models of care administered by advanced practice nurses. Effectiveness of nurse-led clinics needs further evaluation with stronger trials and wider focus on nursing-sensitive clinical outcomes and costs.