Utility, Caller, and Patient Profile of a Novel Chemotherapy Telephone Helpline Service Within a Regional Cancer Centre in Northern Ireland

Samuel Porter, Joanne Reid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: The telephone is an accepted and useful means of communication for the management of patient care. The Chemotherapy Telephone Helpline (CTH) service, located in a large inner-city Trust within the United Kingdom, is a unique nurse-led service within Northern Ireland.

Objective: The objective of the study was to investigate the utility, caller, and patient profile of a novel CTH.

Methods: This was a retrospective study of telephone contacts during 2007 to the CTH. Calls were categorized by caller and patient characteristics, reason for call, and subsequent action.

Results: A total of 7498 calls were made to the CTH during 2007. Of these, 25.6% occurred outside 8AM-4PM. Callers included patients (45.8%), lay carers (31%), and health care professionals (20.5%); 35.2% of calls concerned patients with polysymptomatic problems; 36.8% of calls led directly to patients being medically assessed.

Conclusions: The utility of the CTH service confirms the need of this nurse-led service. This service facilitates access to specialist advice and support for patients, their families, and allied health care professionals.

Implications for Practice: The international significance of these findings for practice includes its demonstration of the multifaceted symptom experience of patients receiving chemotherapy and highlights the importance of rapid access to specialist cancer services for patients and their lay and professional carers. In addition, it demonstrates the capacity of helplines to identify gaps in professional skills and training.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E27-E32
Number of pages6
JournalCancer Nursing
Volume34
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2011

Bibliographical note

Impact Factor 1.82, Q1, Nursing, Cited x5

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Oncology(nursing)

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