Role clarification: an examination of cancer nurses’ attitudes towards providing psychosocial support and training needs (#220)
Background: Recent models of care recommend that provision of psychosocial support be provided across disciplines throughout cancer treatment. While nurses are well positioned to provide this support as they have the most access to patients and patients perceive support from nurses as acceptable, little is known as to how much they perceive provision of psychosocial support as part of their role as cancer nurses. This study aimed to explore factors influencing nurses’ attitudes towards providing psychosocial care and unmet training needs.
Method: Cancer nurse members of the Cancer Nurses Society of Australia, the Royal College of Nursing Australia, and the Haematology Society of Australia & New Zealand were invited to participate in a web-based survey. The survey assessed constructs including psychosocial beliefs, role ambiguity, subjective norm, normative beliefs, belief about outcomes, attitudes towards psychosocial care, perceived behavioural control, control beliefs and perceptions of training and supervision as well as unmet training needs.
Results: 262 cancer nurses completed the web-based survey. More than half (52%) of nurses perceived provision of psychosocial support as 20-60% of their role, although 44% do not describe themselves as adequately trained to provide this support. All the factors assessed proved significantly related to nurses’ perception of their role (all p<.05), with the exception of role ambiguity. However, when these factors were considered together, only beliefs about outcomes, control beliefs and adequacy of supervision remained significant predictors to nurses’ perception of their role. Amongst training needs, nurses were most interested in receiving communication training to tailor their work for specific populations (23%) and relaxation training.
Discussion: Results highlight how nurses perceive provision of psychosocial support as primary to their clinical role. To support nurses in providing psychosocial care effectively additional training and supervision are needed to ensure nurses feel confident to carry out these duties. This abstract could form a part of the symposium entitled “Translating Training in to Practice: Examining the Process From Training to Implementation.”